Major League Baseball has hired an executive search firm to hunt down the head of its new fledgling venture, MLB Network. The new channel will eventually join all fans together to swear at MLB just like the Big Ten, the NFL, and every other league that starts its own network and then leverages fan affection to force the cable providers into a disgraceful fight over carriage rates.
The new network’s CEO should be “somebody very seasoned and accomplished,” according to Oakland A’s owner and search team member Lew Wolff. The search firm and MLB approval team also wants someone with a big name and respect in the industry.
We know someone that fits the bill and might be looking for a new job…
(Hi, remember me? I brought you such hits as “Season on the Brink”, “Playmakers”, and Rush Limbaugh!)
Mark Shapiro has been off playing with Dan Snyder’s toys at Six Flags since leaving ESPN at its peak of popularity after serving as their programming chief for three years and working at the Worldwide Leader for 12 years.
However, his Six Flags work hasn’t resulted in profits. As we noted earlier, profits are still down at Six Flags and bankruptcy is a serious option. Wouldn’t now be a great time to move on before the stain of restructuring under court order hits Shapiro? Also, MLB Network would be a great landing spot as he could start from scratch with no shareholders to please.
(Sure, there’s owners to appease, but if Bud can do it…)
We expect Shapiro’s name to be near the top of the search firm’s list. Now we must wait and see if Shaprio’s stubbornness outlasts his desire to run a sports channel again.