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
Personal details
Born
Thomas Charles Werner

(1950-04-12) April 12, 1950 (age 69)
New York City, United States
Spouse(s)Jill Troy Werner (divorced)
Children3
EducationSt. Bernard's School
Hotchkiss School
Alma materHarvard University (BA)
OccupationTelevision producer, businessman

Thomas Charles Werner (born April 12, 1950) is a highly successful television executive enshrined in the Television Academy Hall of Fame (1996)[1], and a sports team owner who partnered with John W. Henry to deliver the unprecedented feat of winning baseball’s World Series and soccer’s UEFA Champions League final in a span of seven months.

Werner has served as chairman of the Boston Red Sox since the sale of the team was finalized on Feb. 27, 2002. During the first 18 seasons of the Henry/Werner ownership, the team has won four World Series—the 2004 title ending an 86-year championship drought—and qualified for the postseason 10 times. In 2018, the Red Sox won a franchise-record 108 games and then defeated the New York Yankees, Houston Astros and Los Angeles Dodgers en route to the ninth World Series title in team history.

Werner became chairman of the Liverpool Football Club in 2010 after New England Sports Ventures completed its takeover of the iconic football club. On June 1, 2019, Liverpool emphatically demonstrated its return to global prominence by defeating Premier League rival Tottenham, 2-0, in the UEFA Champions League final in Madrid. Liverpool also was a Champions League finalist in 2018, but lost, 3-1, to Real Madrid.

Werner’s success in sports parallels his achievements in television, where he has been called a “Comedy Kingmaker” by the Hollywood Reporter.[2] Werner’s partnership with fellow producer Marcy Carsey is widely regarded as one of the most successful independent television production companies in the history of the medium. The Werner-Carsey tandem helped create over 1,600 half-hours of quality prime-time comedies, including the ground-breaking “The Cosby Show,” “Roseanne,” “3rd Rock From The Sun” and “That ‘70s Show.”

Werner recently served as executive producer for the reboot of “Roseanne” and is currently executive producer of “The Conners,” which ranked No. 1 in total viewers for new comedies in 2018-19.

Early life[edit]

Werner was born in New York City, one of three children born to Elizabeth (née Grumbach) and Henry S. Werner, a New York City attorney. He has one sister, Patsy Werner Hanson, and one brother, Peter Werner[3], an Academy Award-winning film and television director. He was educated at St. Bernard's School in Manhattan, The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Connecticut, and earned a B.A. in government from Harvard University (Class of ’71). As a student, he produced an award-winning documentary about the life of pioneering documentary filmmaker Robert Flaherty. After graduation, Werner made additional documentaries, including the critically acclaimed “Shirley Chisholm: Unbought and Unbossed,” an intimate chronicle of the Presidential bid made by the first African-American woman to run for the nation’s highest office. It was also as a Harvard student that Werner, caught up in the pennant chase of the 1967 “Impossible Dream” Red Sox, became a fan of the team and, for his Visual Studies Class, made a film about Fenway Park, the iconic ballpark he would one day be instrumental in saving.

Television career[edit]

In 1973, Werner entered television by working in the research department of ABC-TV, eschewing an opportunity to become a producer for a CBS news anthology, “60 Minutes.” While at ABC, his first boss [in the entertainment division] was Carsey, and they were instrumental in the creation of a TV series built around a new sensation they had seen in a Los Angeles comedy club, Robin Williams [“Mork and Mindy”]. Werner also played an integral part in the creation of other ABC hit series, including “Soap,” “Three’s Company,” “Taxi,” “Bosom Buddies” and “Love Boat.” His efforts provided opportunities for such emerging stars as Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, Danny DeVito and John Ritter.

Werner left the network in 1980 and co-founded The Carsey-Werner Company. Together, the tandem created “The Cosby Show,” which was inspired by a Bill Cosby standup routine on child rearing. The show aired on NBC for eight seasons (1984-92), ranked as the most popular family comedy of the ‘80s and was credited with reviving the sitcom genre. “The Cosby Show” remains the most-watched show featuring a predominantly black cast in the history of American TV, and is often credited for breaking new ground in the media visibility of African-Americans.

Other hits followed:  “Roseanne,” “3rd Rock From the Sun,” “That 70’s Show,” “A Different World,” “Cybill,” and “Grace Under Fire.’’ That string of success led to Carsey and Werner  becoming recipients of the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Producers Guild of America in 2001. Werner and his company have earned 24 Emmy Awards, 11 People's Choice Awards, and numerous Golden Globes, Humanitas Prizes, and Peabody Awards.

In 2000, Werner, Carsey, and longtime partner Caryn Mandabach joined Oprah Winfrey to start Oxygen, a 24-hour cable channel which catered to the lifestyle and entertainment interests of the millennial woman. In 2007, NBC Universal purchased the network for $925 million, and in 2017 it was rebranded as a multiplatform site with a focus on true-crime programming for women.

Sports[edit]

San Diego Padres[edit]

Werner’s entry into sports team ownership came when he and 14 other Southern California-based investors purchased the San Diego Padres from McDonald’s heiress Joan Kroc for US $75 million on June 14, 1990[4]. As holder of the largest financial stake in the ballclub, he served as the team’s general managing partner[5]. It was a difficult period economically in Major League Baseball, which was riven by the financial disparity between small- and large-market franchises and ultimately cancelled the 1994 World Series because of a work stoppage that carried into the following season[6]. Werner was appointed to Major League Baseball’s Executive Council and was chairman of MLB’s television negotiating committee, where he was an early proponent of the wild-card format that was first implemented in 1995.

Werner was criticized during his Padres tenure for either trading or not re-signing some of the team’s established stars. But after the Padres advanced to the playoffs in 1996 and won the National League pennant in 1998, some of those moves were viewed in a different light, particularly Werner’s approval of the 1993 trade of slugger Gary Sheffield to the Florida Marlins that resulted in the acquisition of prospect Trevor Hoffman[7], who became a Hall of Fame closer and one of the most popular players in franchise history.

Werner’s term as majority owner ended when John Moores acquired an 80% interest for $80 million on December 22, 1994[8]. Werner retained a 10% share in the franchise until he sold it to Moores before the start of the 2007 season.[9]


The Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group[edit]

Werner returned to baseball in 2001, part of a group that included former Orioles and Padres CEO Larry Lucchino and Florida Marlins owner John W. Henry which made a successful bid to purchase the Boston Red Sox. Their bid, which totaled $700 million (including $40 million in assumed debt) was accepted by MLB on December 20, 2001, with formal approval coming on Feb. 27, 2002.[10] Henry served as principal owner, Werner was named chairman and Lucchino became club president and CEO, a collaboration that generated a historic level of success.[11]

The new ownership group had been the only prospective purchasers committed to saving Fenway Park, the team’s iconic home, and after three years of making substantial improvements to the ballpark, the owners made a long-term commitment to remain in Fenway, leading to more than $400 million in improvements during the first 17 years of their tenure.[12]

After the ballclub spent the 2002 season under interim GM Mike Port, who replaced Dan Duquette, the new ownership group promoted 28-year-old Theo Epstein, making him the youngest GM in baseball history[13]. The Red Sox lost the 2003 ALCS in seven games to the New York Yankees in Epstein’s first season, but under new manager Terry Francona staged the greatest comeback in baseball postseason history, overcoming a 3 games to none deficit to the New York Yankees to win the 2004 ALCS, then sweeping the St. Louis Cardinals for their first World Series title since 1918. World Series titles followed in 2007, 2013 and 2018.

Because of his television background, Werner also took a leading role in the oversight of the team’s regional sports network, New England Sports Network (NESN), a highly valuable piece of the Fenway Sports Group holdings and the first regional network to broadcast games in high definition.


Liverpool FC[edit]

In 2010, Fenway Sports Group, sensing a rare opportunity to buy an iconic global sports franchise for a relative bargain, purchased the Premier League team Liverpool F.C.—with the club on the verge of bankruptcy--from lawyers acting on behalf of the Royal Bank of Scotland, the lenders to former owners George N. Gillett, Jr. and Tom Hicks.[14] On November 25, 2010, Liverpool F.C. announced that Werner would be installed as chairman, replacing Martin Broughton, beginning December 1, 2010.[15]

As with the Red Sox and Fenway Park, the new ownership group elected not to pursue construction of a new stadium and instead made extensive renovations to the team’s ancient stadium, Anfield, which had served since the club’s inception in 1892 as home pitch. When construction was completed on the new Main stand, the capacity of Anfield was increased from 45,000 to 54,074.

After mixed results in the first few seasons under the new ownership, the team began an impressive ascent under new manager Jurgen Klopp, who in his first season (2015-16) took the club to the finals of both the Football League Cup and UEFA Europa League, finishing runner-up in both competitions. With the Henry/Werner group spending liberally to acquire such starts as Mohamed Salah,[16] Virgl van Dijk, and Alisson,[17] Liverpool finished second in the 2018–19 Premier League season with 97 points while losing just one game, a points record for a non-title winning side. Klopp took Liverpool to successive Champions League Finals in 2018 and 2019, with the club defeating Tottenham Hotspur 2–0 to win the 2019 UEFA Champions League Final.[18]

Community and Philanthropy[edit]

Werner is the founding Chairman of the Red Sox Foundation, the charitable arm of the Boston Red Sox, which has become the largest and one of the fastest-growing team charities in Major League Baseball. Since its creation in 2002, the Red Sox Foundation has donated to more than 1,780 organizations, helped 288 Boston public school students with college scholarships through the Red Sox Scholars program, and supported hundreds of youth baseball programs in New England.[19]

In 2008, Werner spearheaded the creation of the Home Base Program, a partnership between the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital, which has helped over 21,000 veterans and their families coping with the “invisible wounds of war,” which include PTSD and traumatic brain injuries.  [20]

In November, 2011, the Red Sox Foundation received Major League Baseball's first-ever "Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence" for the foundation’s "Red Sox Scholars" program.[21]

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. [22]

On October 30, 2014, Werner received the "Outstanding Civilian Service Award" from the United States Army for his creation of the Home Base Program. [23]


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).[24][25][26]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Honorees". Television Academy. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  2. ^ "Comedy Kingmaker Tom Werner Talks 'Roseanne' Revival, Bill Cosby Claims". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  3. ^ "Paid Notice: Deaths WERNER, ELIZABETH GRUMBACH". The New York Times. 2003-02-17. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  4. ^ Ap (1990-06-14). "Owners Approve Sale of Padres". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  5. ^ June 6; 2016. "What keeps Tom Werner moving? 'The challenge to win'". www.sportsbusinessdaily.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  6. ^ "MLB strike free ... for 10 years and prospering". ESPN.com. 2004-08-11. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  7. ^ Writer, GORDON EDES, Staff. "MARLINS TRADE FOR SHEFFIELD HOFFMAN, 2 OTHERS DEALT TO SAN DIEGO". Sun-Sentinel.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  8. ^ Press, The Associated (1994-12-22). "BASEBALL; New Owner for Padres". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  9. ^ Krasovic, Tom. "Padres Notebook: Greene says surgery only a last resort," The San Diego Union-Tribune, Saturday, February 24, 2007.
  10. ^ Chass, Murray (2002-01-17). "BASEBALL; Owners Give Approval To Sale of the Red Sox". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  11. ^ Francona, Terry; Shaughnessy, Dan (2013). Francona: the Red Sox years. ISBN 9780547928173. OCLC 814271080.
  12. ^ "Fenway Park Improvements". MLB.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  13. ^ "Red Sox General Managers". Boston Red Sox. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  14. ^ Belson, Ken (2010-10-06). "Red Sox Owners Agree to Purchase Liverpool". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  15. ^ "Werner replaces Broughton as Liverpool chairman". The Washington Post. 2010-11-25. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  16. ^ Dobson, Mark (2017-06-22). "Liverpool complete record £36.9m signing of Mohamed Salah from Roma". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  17. ^ "How Liverpool broke the mould to sign Alisson & Van Dijk". This Is Anfield. 2018-09-06. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  18. ^ Busfield, Steve. "Liverpool Would Trade A Champions League Win For A Premier League Win--And Vice Versa For Manchester City". Forbes. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  19. ^ "Thomas C Werner - Chairman". MLB.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  20. ^ Fri, on; Jul 27; at 7:12PM, 2018. "Tom Werner Extremely 'Proud' Of 'Success' Of Home Base Program | Red Sox First Pitch | NESN.com". Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  21. ^ "Red Sox named recipient of Commissioner's Award for Philanthropic Excellence". boston.redsox.mlb.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  22. ^ "Tom Werner to be honored with". MLB.com. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  23. ^ "Red Sox Chairman Receives Award from U.S. Army". Boston Magazine. 2014-11-03. Retrieved 2019-11-19.
  24. ^ People: "Katie's New Life" By J.D. Reed, Anne-Marie O'Neill November 27, 2000
  25. ^ New York Times: "Paid Notice: Deaths TROY, JOANNE October 30, 2008
  26. ^ Boston Globe: "Leventhals host Neigbhorhood House fund-raiser" By Mark Shanahan and Meredith Goldstein October 16, 2012

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