Highlights from SEC Commissioner Mike Slive’s address at Media Days

HOOVER, Ala. — Southeastern Conference Football Media Days kicked off Tuesday – and yes, I’m required to say they “kicked off” – with an address from Commissioner Mike Slive.

Here are a few highlights:

On football’s success: “The SEC won its seventh straight BCS national championship, finished the regular season with six teams ranked in the top 10, the first conference to accomplish such a feat in the history of college football; set a record with 63 NFL Draft picks … and an SEC player was awarded the Heisman Trophy for the fourth time in the last six years.”

On the off-the-field behavior of current and former SEC players: “We are not naïve enough to think we can put an end to all unacceptable behavior. But that doesn’t mean we won’t continue to try, try, try.”

On Scheduling: Slive said a change in format would not come before the 2016 season when it’s possible the league will switch from eight conference games to nine.

On the NCAA: While Slive pledged “support” for the NCAA, he also seemed to take it to task. “Moving forward, there are important questions that need to be answered. For example, what changes need to be made to the NCAA structure to provide significant roles for the stakeholders, the presidents, chancellors, athletic directors, institutional administrators, conference administrators and coaches? What is the proper role, function and composition of the NCAA board of directors? Do we need all of the services provided by the NCAA’s national office, its many committees and task forces, or are some of these services better provided elsewhere.”

In other words, Slive seems to favor the NCAA having less power over the most powerful conference in the land.



Glazer’s Inc. Acquires Majority Control of Memphis-based wine distributor

Glazer’s, Inc. has signed an agreement to acquire majority control of Memphis-based Star Distributing Co. The company is one of the largest distributors of wine, spirits and malt beverage products in the U.S.

Star distributes wine, spirits and specialty items in Memphis for national suppliers including Bacardi, Sazerac, Moet Hennessy USA and Beam, among others.

New Fred’s opens this week in Southaven

A new Fred’s Super Dollar store is opening in Southaven July 19.

The 16,000-square-foot store at 2110 Goodman Road will be Southaven’s third Fred’s Super Dollar location. It’s also a prototype that will includes changes in store layout, lighting, shelving, aisle widths and signage.

For example, there will be an expanded food selection that doubles the usual Fred’s food offerings with things like additional breakfast foods, beverages and more.

Cohen: Justice Dept. should investigate Trayvon Martin death

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen agrees with the Congressional Black Caucus, the NAACP and others who have asked the U.S. Dept. of Justice to consider federal hate crime and/or other civil rights charges against George Zimmerman.

“Right here in Memphis, federal law was used to achieve justice in the murder of Shelby County Code Enforcement inspector Mickey Wright when state law and local authorities failed to do so,” Cohen said in a statement released Sunday. “I requested an investigation by then-FBI Agent-in-Charge My Harrison that led to a federal indictment by U.S. Attorney Ed Stanton III and a subsequent guilty plea that will keep the murderer behind bars for the rest of his life.

“The family and friends of Trayvon Martin are in my heart today, and I am disappointed in this miscarriage of justice allowing an undisputed killer to walk free. I will request that the Department of Justice fully consider federal hate crime or other civil rights charges against George Zimmerman. We have a responsibility to protect the safety of all people in this country and the vigilantism that led to the death of an unarmed teenager must not go unpunished.”

Meanwhile, the Justice Dept. released a statement Sunday saying it’s looking into the death of Trayvon Martin, according to the Associated Press, to determine whether criminal civil rights charges are appropriate against Zimmerman.

Wife of Grizzlies CEO is a power player at Forbes (update: now, the NYT)

(updated July 15. see bottom)

The wife of Memphis Grizzlies CEO Jason Levien is a prominent official at the Forbes media organization.

The media industry website Digiday has a profile up of Meredith Levien, who joined Forbes in 2008. At the start of 2012, she was tapped as Forbes’ chief revenue officer, and since then Forbes has enjoyed six straight quarters of growth, according to Digiday.

“Under her stewardship, the website and magazine would be brought into one operating unit with an integrated sales team,” reads the profile. “She also laid the foundation for two other big Forbes initiatives – programmatic buying and Brandvoice – which helped propel Forbes comfortably into the black.”

To read more, go here.

(New information – Levien is leaving Forbes to go to the New York Times, where she’ll be executive vice president of advertising.)