Broadcasting head to leave Orioles post

Lehr netted club $170M in air deals in 3 1/2 years

February 16, 2000|By Milton Kent

The point man on Orioles broadcasting deals that netted the club more than $170 million has announced his resignation.

Michael T. Lehr, Orioles vice president of marketing and broadcasting, will leave the team to become chief operating officer of ACS Sports.com, an Internet firm with offices here and in New York that handles the Web sites of professional and collegiate teams, including the Orioles, the New York Yankees, the Detroit Tigers and the Cleveland Indians.

"The timing was right for me. This is a terrific opportunity for me and my family," said Lehr, who joined the Orioles in May 1996.

On Lehr's watch, the Orioles merged their marketing and broadcasting departments for the first time in franchise history, tying advertising and signage contracts within Oriole Park with on-the-air advertisers.

Lehr and team vice chairman Joe Foss hammered out a massive 10-year cable television contract with Home Team Sports in 1996 that pays the club a reported $160 million, as well as a three-year deal in December with WBAL (1090 AM) that will garner $4 million annually in rights.

Lehr, who came to the club from the Indians, is the second team broadcasting director to leave Baltimore in as many months. Lisa Levine, who also formerly worked in Cleveland, left the Ravens last month to return to Cleveland.

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