UPDATED, 6:45 PM: Here is a clip from tonight’s CNN broadcast of Anderson Cooper‘s interview of Clippers owner Donald Sterling. The original story continues below the video:
Related: Clippers Game Clocks Big Ratings After NBA Announces Donald Sterling Ban
PREVIOUSLY: Barbara Walters landed the girlfriend and the wife involved in the hottest story right now, but CNN’s Anderson Cooper scored the sit-down today with the big fish – disgraced LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling, who was caught last month making racist comments about African-Americans and hoops icon Magic Johnson in a 2013 tape. He was subsequently banned for life from the NBA and fined $2.5M. Sunday’s news battle pitted Sterling vs. Sterling as CNN and ABC News vied to take the lead on the hottest story of the moment. Read More »
UPDATED, 12:31 PM: The NBA just confirmed the reports. Read the release at the bottom of the original post.
PREVIOUSLY: 12:13 PM: The league moved swiftly to instill order in the Clippers front office, tapping Richard Parsons as the team’s CEO, according to multiple reports. NBA.com insider David Aldredge first reported the Parsons news via Twitter, and the league is expected to confirm the news today. The NBA’s website says the exec will oversee the team’s business operations while the league continues the process of removing current owner Donald Sterling in the wake of racially charged remarks that went public a week ago. As President of Time Warner, Parsons helped shepherd the company’s ultimately failed merger with AOL. He later served as Chairman and CEO of TW for nearly six years before stepping down at the end of 2007. He also headed Citigroup as chairman from 2009-12. Parsons currently sits on the board of directors of the Commission on Presidential Debates and with his wife owns a pair of jazz-themed restaurants in NYC. Andy Roeser, a 30-year Clippers employee, stepped down as the NBA team’s president this week amid the Sterling scandal. An NBA committee met this week and, according to NBA.com, is expected to recommend removing Sterling within the next few weeks, followed by a vote of the NBA’s Board of Governors expected soon after. Twenty-three of the league’s 30 owners must approve the ouster of the league’s longest-tenured owner.
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Days before her official retirement, Barbara Walters showed youngsters how it’s done, scooping her rivals one last time to land an exclusive interview with the woman involved in the hottest story of the moment. Walters just did a sit-down with Donald Sterling’s confidante V. Stiviano, whose taped conversation with the Los Angeles Clippers owner, in which he makes racist comments, has led to a $2.5 million fine, a lifelong ban from the NBA and likely a sale of the team.
While Walters’ impressive list of interview subjects through the years includes such hard-to-get world figures as the Shah of Iran, Russia’s Vladimir Putin, China’s Jiang Zemin, Cuba’s Fidel Castro and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, she likely will be remembered for her celebrity chats and for landing exclusive interviews with headline-makers everyone is pursuing. It is fitting that one of her final interviews is with a young woman who is bringing down a powerful man. It comes 15 years after Walters’ biggest get, a sit-down with young woman who almost toppled the President of the United States — Monica Lewinsky. A record 74 million viewers tuned in for that interview. Those are numbers we probably won’t ever see again, but Walters is likely to get a ratings bump for what could be her final “get”.
Leon Jenkins, president of the Los Angeles branch of the NAACP, has resigned in the wake of the scandal involving the branch’s now-scuttled plans to honor disgraced LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime achievement award. The organization is expected to make a full investigation into how the branch had decided to give Sterling not one, but two, lifetime achievement awards; the first came in 2009. “Please be advised that the legacy, history and reputation of the NAACP is more important to me than the presidency,” Jenkins said in his letter of resignation.
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Before Sterling’s racist remarks came to light last week, the group’s LA branch had planned to honor him at an awards gala May 15 at the Biltmore Hotel. Among the others to be honored were the Rev. Al Sharpton and LA Mayor Eric Garcetti. It remains to be seen if the awards dinner will go on as planned. Read More »
One day after telling TMZ — the media outlet of record on Donald Sterling’s Racist Remarks story — she is not interested in buying the Sterling-owned Los Angeles Clippers, Oprah Winfrey let it be known she is interested in buying the NBA team. Because that kind of publicity is a terrible thing to waste. “No, I won’t be buying the Clippers, but I hear Magic Johnson might be,” Oprah told TMZ on Tuesday, after greeting its representative with a chatty, “Chai it up! Chai it up!” – because Oprah’s also got a new drink to sell, in partnership with Starbucks.
Related: Clippers Playoff Game Expected To Clock Big Ratings After Owner Banned For Life
Oprah was cast as the lead in the Whither Goest Clippers saga this morning when ESPN reported she was interested in making a bid for the team with David Geffen, whose interest in buying the team was yesterday’s news – and far less sexy, based on media pickup. Geffen made an unsuccessful bid for the team a few years ago, sans Oprah. Also yesterday’s news: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who today is said to be part of the Team Oprah bid to buy the team that is not for sale but which NBA commissioner Adam Silver has forecast will soon be, because he’s that confident he can line up three-quarters of team owners needed to vote to force Sterling to sell. Read More »
Tonight’s NBA playoff game at Staples Center on TNT has just been guaranteed a ratings spike after NBA Commissioner Adam Silver today hammered Clippers owner Donald Sterling with a lifetime ban from the NBA, fined him $2.5 million, and asked other NBA team owners to force Sterling to sell the team, adding he will “do everything in my power to insure that happens.” Silver said it will take a 3/4 vote by owners in favor of forcing Sterling to sell to make it happen. Asked if Sterling could remain owner if 3/4 of the owners do not vote to oust the real-estate magnet, Silver responded confidently, “I fully expect to get the support I need from the other NBA owners to remove him.”
The biggest TV audience so far for the 2014 NBA Playoffs : 4.73 million viewers clocked Sunday afternoon’s game on TNT. Overall the playoffs are averaging about 3.8 million.
Silver, who’s been commissioner just three months, had been expected to come down on Sterling with the maximum allowable punishment for the racist rant, in which Sterling forbade his mistress from posing for photos with black people or bringing them to Clippers games. During the news conference in NY, Silver apologized to Clippers players and coach Doc Rivers, as well as fans and “partners” of the NBA, saying “the views expressed by Mr. Sterling are deeply offensive and harmful.”
A couple hours after Silver’s news conference ended, syndicated TV show Access Hollywood announced Sterling’s mistress, V. Stiviano, had “spoken out in an exclusive statement” to the program:
“It’s not about Mr. Sterling. It’s about global issues that affects us as a nation as a whole,” she said in the statement, adding, “My story is bigger than racism in sports.”
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Late-night hosts last night warmed up the audience for today’s televised news conference, in which new-ish NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reveals how he will punish Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist comments caught on audio tape made public by TMZ.
Related: Sterling Firestorm Drives Clippers Playoff Game To Top Of Twitter TV Ratings
The Daily Show:
Jimmy Kimmel Live:
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The Los Angeles Clippers capped this weekend’s media reaction to racist comments allegedly made by team owner Donald Sterling by staging a silent protest before Game 4 of their play-offs run today, wearing their red warm-up shirts inside out to conceal the Clippers logo ahead of Sunday afternoon’s 118-97 loss to the Golden State Warriors. Sterling was identified on a 9-minute recording posted by TMZ and an extended 15-minute tape obtained by Deadspin this week telling girlfriend V. Stiviano not to bring black people including former hoops star Magic Johnson to his NBA games. Johnson hit back on the airwaves himself appearing on ABC‘s play-off pre-game show (see below) calling for NBA commissioner Adam Silver to “[do] his due diligence” and “come down hard” on Sterling, who “should not own a team anymore.”
“As an owner, I’m obviously disgusted that a fellow team owner could hold such sickening and offensive views,” said fellow ex-NBA superstar and current Charlotte Bobcats owner Michael Jordan in a statement. “I’m confident that Adam Silver will make a full investigation and take appropriate action quickly.” Read More »