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O'Dwyer's Newsletter - August 29, 2011 - Vol. 44 - No. 33 (download PDF version)

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Bob Condron, who handled media relations during 15 Olympic Games over 28 years at the U.S. Olympic Committee, plans to retire at the end of the year.


His exit comes ahead of the 2012 Games in London and as the USOC said last week that it would not put together a bid for the 2020 Summer Games.

“No journalist or broadcaster saddled with the staggering responsibility of covering the Olympic Games, from Los Angeles to Vancouver, had a better friend or advocate than Bob,” said Mike Moran, former USOC head of communications who hired Condron from the sports information director slot at Southern Methodist University. “It didn’t matter whether they were from the New York Times or the Anchorage Daily News. Or from Sports Illustrated or Reader’s Digest.”

Condron handled the media accreditation process for the Colorado Springs-based USOC for the last decade and served the International Olympic Committee press commission for eight years, counseling organizing committees on media operations and services.

Patrick Sandusky, the former Hill & Knowlton exec who helped Chicago pitch the 2016 Games, was named chief communications officer of USOC in October 2009.

Condron, who only would say he was born during World War II, will consult for the IOC and other Olympic groups part-time, is slated to marry in March. He will exit on Jan. 2, the same day he started in 1984.

“It was beautiful, and every day was magic,” he said.


Al Sharpton took over as permanent host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” on Aug. 29. He had been hosting the 6 p.m. show on a trial basis.


Phil Griffin, president of MSNBC says Sharpton “has always been one of our most thoughtful and entertaining guests.”

With the civil rights activist and minister at the helm, Griffin believes the cable network will have “an incredibly strong kickoff” to its evening schedule.

Sharpton’s statement says joining the “Lean Forward” network is a “natural extension of my life work and growth. We all learn from our pain and stand up from our stumbling and one must either lean forward or fall backwards.”

He added: “I’m glad they have given me the opportunity to continue my forward lean.”

Sharpton, a former presidential candidate, founded the National Action Network and hosts a radio program that is heard in 40 markets.


Cairo-based Ayman Mohyeldin, the “Anderson Cooper” of Al Jazeera English, is returning to NBC News next month as foreign correspondent covering the action in the Middle East.


The former NBC News desk assistant in Washington joined AJE in `96 and helped the Arab satellite TV service gain visibility, according to the New York Times.

Mohyeldin posted on Facebook that that his return to NBC will help the “historic developments in the Middle East” receive more coverage in the U.S.

He hopes to make a “positive difference in the way the U.S. understands the region, challenging stereotypes and misunderstandings.”

GQ magazine likened Mohyeldin to Cooper.


Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim Helu and family members have increased their stake in the New York Times Co. to 10.6 percent from seven percent.

They have warrants to bolster their position to more than 16 percent by 2015.

The NYTC repaid a $250M loan that carried a 14 percent interest rate to Slim last month. That repayment was made more than three years before it was due.

Slim invested in the company in `09.


New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli has voided a $27M education contract with a News Corp. unit, citing the “ongoing investigations and continuing revelations” about the media combine headed by Rupert Murdoch.

The contract for evaluating tests was with News Corp.’s Wireless Generation. It was part of the Empire State’s $700M “Race to the Top” program, according to the August 27 New York Daily News.

In his letter to the state’s Education Dept., DiNapoli wrote that “we are returning the contract with Wireless Generation unapproved.” He also knocked News Corp.’s “incomplete record” in the education department.

News Corp. acquired a 90 percent stake in Brooklyn-based Wireless Generation in November for $360M.

Murdoch hailed the company as being “in the forefront of individualized, technology-based leading that is poised to revolutionize public education for a new generation of students.”

Joel Klein, the former New York City chancellor and deputy White House counsel in the Clinton administration, heads News Corp.’s education thrust.

He also oversees News Corp.’s management standards committee that is exploring the hacking scandal that led to the shutdown of the News of the World tabloid in the U.K. , parliamentary hearings and a U.S. Justice Dept. probe.

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