People and Pop Culture

Names in the News

Mets SS FRANCISCO LINDOR "made an appearance at the U.S. Open on Thursday afternoon" that got much media attention, but "few people noticed" Marlins GM KIM NG on Thursday night. Ng, who is "close friends with a member of the USTA’s board of directors, KATHLEEN FRANCIS, was sitting next to" Vogue editor-in-chief ANNA WINTOUR in the Arthur Ashe Stadium president’s suite (USA TODAY, 9/4)....Golfer JORDAN SPIETH and his wife, ANNIE, are "expecting their first child November 21st." Spieth does "not know the sex of the baby" (GOLFWEEK, 9/3)....Trail Blazers G DAMIAN LILLARD "married his long-time partner, KAY'LA HANSON, over the weekend in an event that included many current and former teammates as well as an appearance by rapper SNOOP DOGG" (Portland OREGONIAN, 9/6).

COVID ABSENCES: Baseball HOFer JOHNNY BENCH has "tested positive for COVID-19 and will not attend the upcoming National Baseball Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown." Bench, 73, said that he has "been vaccinated and credited the vaccine for not requiring hospitalization" (CINCINNATI ENQUIRER, 9/4)....Cubs manager DAVID ROSS and President of Baseball Operations JED HOYER "tested positive for COVID-19." The team on Friday said that Ross and Hoyer are "feeling good and quarantining." Both are "fully vaccinated" (CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/4)....Boxer OSCAR DE LA HOYA, who was "set to return to the ring after 13 years next week, has been hospitalized with coronavirus." De La Hoya said that he tested positive "despite being vaccinated and taking care of himself." De La Hoya was set to face former UFC champion VITOR BELFORT at the Staples Center in L.A. on Sept. 11. Triller Fight Club reportedly is "considering retired boxing champion EVANDER HOLYFIELD to replace De La Hoya in the fight" (N.Y. DAILY NEWS, 9/4).

COMING TO THE BIG SCREEN: KEVIN HART's HartBeat Productions is "teaming up with youth entertainment company Complex Networks," RICH PAUL's Klutch Originals and Haven Entertainment on "what they say will be the definitive documentary series on one the wildest sports tale of 2021: the story of Bishop Sycamore High School’s football team." The docseries "will take a deep dive into how the school and this game fooled the world and became front page news" (, 9/3)

BUYERS & SELLERS: Jem Sportswear CEO JEFF MARINE sold his Mediterranean mansion in the Beverly Park neighborhood in L.A. for $29M in "an off-market deal." Records shows it was "bought by a limited liability company based in Hong Kong." Spanning "17,000 square feet," the estate "covers 2.5 acres and includes an 11,000-square-foot main house, guesthouse, motor court and spacious backyard with a swimming pool surrounded by sprawling lawns and covered patios" (L.A. TIMES, 9/4)....Former NHLer JAMES WISNIEWSKI's home in Ohio has "sold for $3.75 million." The Dublin, Ohio, home "features six bedrooms and six-and-a-half bathrooms in 9,858 square feet of living space" (COLUMBUS DISPATCH, 9/6).

IN MEMORY: Former Steelers player and radio analyst TUNCH ILKIN "died Saturday morning" at 63. Ilkin, who "retired from his role as a broadcaster on the Steelers Radio Network after being diagnosed with ALS last year," had been in UPMC Presbyterian hospital "since last week with pneumonia" (PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/5)....Longtime Fenway Park employee ALPHONSO “AL” GREEN "died Saturday at the age of 94." Green was "one of the people that made the ballpark warm." He "had a smile, a high-five and a stash of gifts -- shirts, pins, stickers, bobble heads, food -- for everyone who stopped by" Gate D (BOSTON GLOBE, 9/6).

SBJ Spotlight: TikTok’s threat to traditional sports media

While tech companies are consumed with finding ways to compete with TikTok, almost no one in conventional media “spends any time talking about it,” said Recode senior correspondent Peter Kafka in an Spotlight interview with SBJ’s John Ourand. “To me, that’s just an obvious disconnect.” Kafka authored a recent column headlined, “It’s TikTok’s world. Can TV live in it?” He said the main response to TikTok’s growth from traditional media execs has been to “punt and hope it’s someone else’s problem a quarter from now or two years from now.” But Kafka said that ignores the trend of conventional broadcast audiences growing older while a billion younger consumers spend most of their media time watching short video after short video. “If you’re in the business of getting anyone under the age of 30 to look at what you’re putting on a screen, you have to think about the fact that you’re probably asking them to put down TikTok and watch your thing instead,” said Kafka. “That’s a very difficult ask. … [TikTok] is insanely addictive.”

SBJ Morning Buzzcast: June 29, 2022

BioSteel makes a major move with the NHL, while the USFL looks for additional investors.

SBJ Unpacks: Thaddeus Young, NBA forward and venture capitalist

SBJ's Austin Karp posted up with NBA power forward Thaddeus Young. The 15-year veteran discussed his venture capital strategy, his investment in technology and much more.

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