Tom Werner

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Tom Werner
Chairman of the Boston Red Sox
Assumed office
February 2002
Chairman of Liverpool Football Club
Assumed office
December 1, 2010
Preceded by Martin Broughton
Personal details
Born Thomas Charles Werner
(1950-04-12) April 12, 1950 (age 68)
New York City, United States
Spouse(s) Jill Troy Werner (divorced)
Children 3
Education St. Bernard's School
Hotchkiss School
Alma mater Harvard University (BA)
Occupation Television producer, businessman

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

Early life[edit]

Werner was born to a Jewish family,[1][2] in New York City; one of three children born to Elizabeth (née Grumbach) and Henry Werner.[3] He has one sister, Patsy Werner Hanson, and one brother, Peter Werner.[3] 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 was involved in the development of Mork & Mindy, Bosom Buddies, Soap, and Taxi.

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, A Different World, Roseanne, 3rd Rock from the Sun and That 70s Show. In 1996, Werner was inducted into the Television Hall of Fame.[4] 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.


San Diego Padres[edit]

Werner and 14 other Southern California-based investors purchased the San Diego Padres from Joan Kroc for US $75 million on June 14, 1990.[5][6] 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.[7]

Just under six weeks into his new ownership role, he 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. He had invited Roseanne Barr, the eponymous star of one of his sitcoms, to perform The Star-Spangled Banner on an evening billed as Working Women's Night at the ballpark. 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."[6][8]

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.[6] After a pair of winning seasons with third-place finishes in 1991 and 1992,[9] the team fell precipitously into the NL West cellar at 61–101 in 1993, six games behind the expansion Colorado Rockies.[10] It was on its way to a second consecutive last-place finish at 47–70, but a players strike prematurely ended the 1994 campaign.[11]

Critics at the time attributed this sudden free fall in the standings to cost-cutting measures ordered by Werner and his fellow investors. The so-called Fire Sale of 1993[6] 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.[7] Gary Sheffield was sent to the Marlins on June 24, 1993, Fred McGriff was shipped to the Atlanta Braves. Bruce Hurst and Greg Harris were moved to the Rockies on July 26.[11] 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. Economic circumstances changed, however, after Jackson won a $2.1-million arbitration award in February. Refunds were offered to ticket holders involved in the lawsuit.[7][11]

Werner's time as majority owner ended when John Moores acquired an 80% interest for $80 million on December 22, 1994.[12] Werner retained a 10% share in the franchise until he sold it to Moores before the start of the 2007 season.[13]

The Boston Red Sox, Fenway Sports Group and Liverpool FC[edit]

Werner, Larry Lucchino, and Florida Marlins owner John W. Henry purchased the Boston Red Sox on December 20, 2001, for a reported US $660 million (plus $40 million in assumed debt). Henry became the principal owner. Lucchino became club president and CEO and ran the team on a daily basis. Werner would serve as chairman, overseeing the club's television operation.[14]

The new ownership group hired General Manager Theo Epstein in 2001 and Manager Terry Francona in 2004. Francona and Epstein led the Red Sox to World Series championships in 2004 and 2007. The Red Sox won a third World Series in 2013.

After leaving the Red Sox in 2011, Francona criticized Werner for his focus on TV ratings, quoting Werner in on 2010 meeting as saying: "We need to start winning in a more exciting fashion."[14] Francona also criticized Werner for exaggerating his role in Red Sox management:

Werner was constantly trying to assert his importance. When the Henry group first purchased the Red Sox, Werner hired a public relations firm to get his name in the local newspapers. When stories were written about Henry or the Red Sox, he was known to call writers and ask, "Why didn't you mention me in your story?"[14]

In 2010, the ownership group of Henry, Lucchino, and Werner 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 November 25, 2010, Liverpool F.C. announced that Werner would replace Martin Broughton as the club's chairman beginning December 1, 2010.[15] 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 helping Liverpool finish 2nd in the league and also a spot in the UEFA Champions league after 5 years.[16][17][18]

Community and Philanthropy[edit]

Werner is the founding Chairman of the Red Sox Foundation, the charitable arm of the Boston Red Sox.

In November, 2011, Werner received Major League Baseball's first-ever "Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence" for the Red Sox Foundation's "Red Sox Scholars" program, which the club created and the foundation funded starting in 2003.

In January 2013, 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.

On October 30, 2014, Werner received the "Outstanding Civilian Service Award" from the United States Army for his creation of the Home Base Program.[19]

Personal life[edit]

He is divorced from his first wife Jill Troy Werner; they have three children: Edward "Ted" (born 1976), Carolyn (born 1979), and Amanda (born 1988).[20][21][22]


  1. ^ Silbiger, Steve The Jewish Phenomenon: Seven Keys to the Enduring Wealth of a People p. 91
  2. ^ Jewish Daily Forward: "Tom Werner Juggles Roles as Red Sox and Liverpool Boss" by Raphael Gellar December 26, 2013 | My Jewish ancestors moved to America in the 17th century, but I have identified with Israel since I was a child.
  3. ^ a b New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths WERNER, ELIZABETH GRUMBACH" February 17, 2003
  4. ^ "Television Hall of Fame Honorees: Complete List".
  5. ^ "Owners Approve Sale of Padres," The Associated Press, Thursday, June 14, 1990.
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ a b c Kurkjian, Tim. "Penny Pinchin' Padres," Sports Illustrated, March 29, 1993.
  8. ^ Distel, Dave. "Padres' Werner to Blame for Roseanne's 'Barr-Mangled Banner,'" Los Angeles Times, Saturday, July 28, 1990.
  9. ^ San Diego Padres (team history & encyclopedia) –
  10. ^ 1993 National League Team Statistics and Standings –
  11. ^ a b c Young, Geoff. "San Diego Padres' 1993 fire sale," The Hardball Times, Friday, September 7, 2007.
  12. ^ "BASEBALL; New Owner for Padres," The New York Times, Thursday, December 22, 1994.
  13. ^ Krasovic, Tom. "Padres Notebook: Greene says surgery only a last resort," The San Diego Union-Tribune, Saturday, February 24, 2007.
  14. ^ a b c 1959-, Francona, Terry, (2013). Francona : the Red Sox years. Shaughnessy, Dan. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. ISBN 9780547928173. OCLC 814271080.
  15. ^ "Werner replaces Broughton as Liverpool chairman". The Washington Post. 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
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  20. ^ People: "Katie's New Life" By J.D. Reed, Anne-Marie O'Neill November 27, 2000
  21. ^ New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths TROY, JOANNE October 30, 2008
  22. ^ Boston Globe: "Leventhals host Neigbhorhood House fund-raiser" By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein October 16, 2012

External links[edit]