Tom Werner

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Tom Werner
Chairman of the Boston Red Sox
Incumbent
Assumed office
February 2002
Chairman of Liverpool Football Club
Incumbent
Assumed office
December 1, 2010
Preceded by Martin Broughton
Personal details
Born Thomas Charles Werner
(1950-04-12) April 12, 1950 (age 64)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Alma mater Hotchkiss School
Harvard University
Profession Businessman

Thomas Charles "Tom" Werner (born April 12, 1950) is an American television producer, screenwriter, director, and businessman. Via his investment in Fenway Sports Group (originally New England Sports Ventures), Tom serves as chairman of the Boston Red Sox and Liverpool Football Club.

Early life[edit]

Werner was born in New York City, New York. He was educated at St. Bernard's School in Manhattan, The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and earned an English degree from Harvard University.

Television career[edit]

In 1973, Werner entered television by working for ABC-TV. In 1975, he became the Director of East Coast Prime Time Development. Werner was promoted to senior vice president of the prime-time development department in 1979. While at ABC, Werner and his partner Marcy Carsey saw Robin Williams in a comedy club and launched Mork & Mindy. Werner also oversaw the development of Bosom Buddies which started the career of Tom Hanks, as well as Soap which started the career of Billy Crystal and Taxi which started the career of Danny DeVito.

Werner co-founded The Carsey-Werner Company with Marcy Carsey in 1980. In this capacity he served as executive producer of such television programs as The Cosby Show, Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun and That 70s Show. Werner made nearly $600 million selling episodes of The Cosby Show for syndication. In 1996, he was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.[1] In 1999, he was honored at the Museum of Television and Radio.

Werner and his company has earned 24 Emmy Awards, 11 People's Choice Awards, and numerous Golden Globes, Humanitas Prizes, and Peabody Awards. He is also the 2001 recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Producers Guild of America along with his partner Marcy Carsey.

During the administration of President Bill Clinton, Werner and Carsey were close friends and frequent advisers to Bill and Hillary Clinton.

In 2000, Werner, Carsey, and longtime partner Caryn Mandabach joined Oprah Winfrey to start Oxygen, a 24-hour cable channel serving the modern woman.

Sports[edit]

San Diego Padres[edit]

Werner's first attempt at owning a professional sports franchise began on June 14, 1990, when he, along with 14 other Southern California-based investors, purchased the San Diego Padres from Joan Kroc for US $75 million.[2][3] Holder of the largest financial stake in the ballclub, he served as the general managing partner amongst co-owners who were described by a former Padres employee as being fractious.[4]

Just under six weeks into his new ownership role, Werner attempted to cross-promote the team with one of his television series in between games of a twi-night doubleheader versus the Cincinnati Reds at Jack Murphy Stadium on July 25, 1990. On an evening billed as Working Women's Night at the ballpark, he had invited Roseanne Barr, the eponymous star of one of his sitcoms, to perform The Star-Spangled Banner. She comically sang the national anthem with a loud, screechy voice. After finishing her rendition, she grabbed her crotch and spat at the ground in an attempt to parody baseball players. The publicity stunt was met with condemnation from baseball fans and sportswriters, some of whom called it either the "Barr-Mangled Banner" or the "Barr-Strangled Banner."[3][5]

The Padres missed capturing the National League (NL) West title by three games in 1989, a year prior to the start of Werner's tenure. Its 89–73 record was then the second best in franchise history.[3] After a pair of winning seasons with third-place finishes in 1991 and 1992,[6] they fell precipitously into the NL West cellar at 61–101 in 1993, six games behind the expansion Colorado Rockies.[7] Performing at a 47–70 pace in 1994, only a players strike prevented them from completing a second consecutive last-place berth.[8]

This sudden free fall in the standings was the result of the decimation of the starting lineup and pitching staff due to cost-cutting measures ordered by Werner and his fellow investors. He explained that the Padres lost $7 million in 1992, even though their receipt of a $12-million share of the expansion fees paid by the Rockies and Florida Marlins calculated into a $5 million profit. It was further claimed that the expansion money was used to repay part of a $20-million loan that had made the acquisition of the ballclub possible. There was also speculation that the combined wealth of the ownership group was among the highest in the majors at the time.[4]

The reduction of the team's player payroll, known as the Fire Sale of 1993,[3] began on August 31, 1992, when Craig Lefferts was traded to the Baltimore Orioles. In the offseason, Randy Myers and Benito Santiago were allowed to become free agents, Tony Fernández and Mike Maddux were dealt to the New York Mets and Jerald Clark was selected by the Rockies in the expansion draft.[4] Even though he made a run at the Triple Crown the previous year, Gary Sheffield was sent to the Marlins on June 24, 1993. Less than a month later on July 18, defending NL home run champion Fred McGriff was shipped to the Atlanta Braves. Bruce Hurst and Greg Harris were moved to the Rockies on July 26.[8]

The trade of Darrin Jackson to the Toronto Blue Jays on March 30, 1993, resulted in a class action filed against the Padres. During the previous December, the team sent a letter to season-ticket holders assuring them that the maximum effort would be made to retain Jackson. They reneged on its pledge after Jackson won a $2.1-million arbitration award in February. Refunds were offered to ticket holders involved in the lawsuit.[4][8]

Werner's time as majority owner ended when John Moores acquired an 80% interest for $80 million on December 22, 1994.[9] Werner retained a 10% share in the franchise until he sold it to Moores before the start of the 2007 season.[10]

Fenway Sports Group[edit]

Werner is a co-founder and investor with his friend John Henry and Larry Lucchino in sports investment and operations company Fenway Sports Group (FSG). Originally known as New England Sports Ventures, FSG paid $660 million for the Boston Red Sox on February 27, 2002. They also purchased Fenway Park and an 80% share in the New England Sports Network (NESN) from the Yawkey Family Trust, managed by John Harrington.[11] The Red Sox won three World Series since, in 2004, 2007 and 2013. In 2010, FSG bought Premier League team Liverpool F.C. from lawyers acting on behalf of the Royal Bank of Scotland, the lenders to former owners George N. Gillett, Jr. and Tom Hicks. On 25 November 2010, Liverpool FC announced that Werner would replace Martin Broughton as the club's chairman beginning 1 December 2010.[12] On 26 February 2012 Liverpool won the 2012 Football League Cup Final at Wembley, London, beating Welsh side Cardiff City 3–2 on penalties after the game finished 1–1 after 90 minutes and 2–2 after extra time. This was Liverpool's first trophy since the 2006 FA Cup Final win over West Ham United on 13 May 2006 at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff. In May 2012 he made a controversial decision by sacking manager and club icon Kenny Dalglish citing the club's poor league results. This was regarded by some as a poor decision by football experts such as BBC expert Alan Hansen given Dalglish's success in lifting the club from 4 points above the relegation zone to a cup win in just over a season. Swansea's former manager; Brendan Rodgers, filled Dalglish's boots, and has since then proved critics wrong by helping Liverpool finish 2nd in the recently concluded Barclays English Premier League and also a spot in the UEFA Champions league after 4 years.[13][14][15]

Werner was one of three candidates for Commissioner of Baseball after the resignation of Bud Selig in 2014. The vote went to Rob Manfred.[16]

Community and Philanthropy[edit]

Werner serves as Chairman of the Red Sox Foundation, the charitable arm of the Boston Red Sox and the nation's largest sports team charity. The Foundation has raised and devoted over $68 million to charitable causes throughout New England since its inception in 2002.

In January 2013, for his leadership and dedication to the game, Werner received the Dave Winfield Humanitarian Award from the Professional Baseball Scouts Foundation at the organization's annual “In the Spirit of the Game” Sports and Entertainment Spectacular.

Through the Red Sox Foundation, Werner spearheaded the Home Base Program in partnership with Massachusetts General Hospital. Home Base is one of the nation’s only private sector clinics dedicated to helping Iraq and Afghanistan veterans and their families heal from post traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury, “the invisible wounds of war.” Over 1,000 post 9/11 veterans and military family members from all over New England have received clinical care or support through the program. In October, 2014, Werner will receive the "Outstanding Civilian Service Award" from the United States Army for his creation of the Home Base Program. The award is one of the highest honors that can bestowed upon a civilian.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List". 
  2. ^ "Owners Approve Sale of Padres," The Associated Press, Thursday, June 14, 1990.
  3. ^ a b c d Center, Bill. "The ballpark chronicles: 35 seasons with the Padres–Chapter 5: 'Barr-Strangled Banner,'" The San Diego Union-Tribune, Thursday, September 25, 2003.
  4. ^ a b c d Kurkjian, Tim. "Penny Pinchin' Padres," Sports Illustrated, March 29, 1993.
  5. ^ Distel, Dave. "Padres' Werner to Blame for Roseanne's 'Barr-Mangled Banner,'" Los Angeles Times, Saturday, July 28, 1990.
  6. ^ San Diego Padres (team history & encyclopedia) – Baseball-Reference.com.
  7. ^ 1993 National League Team Statistics and Standings – Baseball-Reference.com.
  8. ^ a b c Young, Geoff. "San Diego Padres' 1993 fire sale," The Hardball Times, Friday, September 7, 2007.
  9. ^ "BASEBALL; New Owner for Padres," The New York Times, Thursday, December 22, 1994.
  10. ^ Krasovic, Tom. "Padres Notebook: Greene says surgery only a last resort," The San Diego Union-Tribune, Saturday, February 24, 2007.
  11. ^ Fenway Park 100 Years: Boston Red Sox Ownership, 2002–Present – MLB.com.
  12. ^ "Werner replaces Broughton as Liverpool chairman". The Washington Post. 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2010-11-25. 
  13. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/18104266
  14. ^ http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2896/premier-league/2012/05/16/3107213/dalglishs-demise-the-latest-misjudgement-in-fsgs-liverpool-reign-
  15. ^ http://www.premierleague.com/en-gb/matchday/league-table.html
  16. ^ Blum, Ronald (August 14, 2014). Manfred elected next MLB commissioner. Associated Press. Retrieved August 14, 2014.

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