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MLSE President & CEO Michael Friisdahl leaving organization

MLSE this morning announced that President & CEO MICHAEL FRIISDAHL will leave the organization at the end of February to join Signature Aviation as Exec Chair. MLSE CFO CYNTHIA DEVINE has been named to Friisdahl's role on an interim basis. Friisdahl had been in the position since '15. MLSE said it was beginning a search for Friisdahl's replacement immediately. Friisdahl was seen as a big departure from his predecessor, TIM LEIWEKE, when he took on the role in late '15, having spent much of his career in the travel industry. He was the company's first CEO to not have a background managing sports teams (SBJ).

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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.”

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