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Published: Monday, 6/2/2014 - Updated: 4 months ago

Five Things You Might Have Missed: 6-02

Top articles from this weekend's editions of The Blade

BLADE STAFF
Gene Smith of Ohio State says he favors reform. But, he adds, ‘if you turn it into an employer-employee relationship, it changes everything.’ Gene Smith of Ohio State says he favors reform. But, he adds, ‘if you turn it into an employer-employee relationship, it changes everything.’
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1. Union concept carries wave of complexities for university sports

When a federal board recently ruled that football players at Northwestern University could form a union, it was a historic but limited decision.

The bigger question is what the landmark case means for NCAA athletes at public colleges.

Could the union movement ever come to Ohio State, where quarterback Braxton Miller is compensated with a scholarship valued at $22,418 per year as the star of a football team that generated $61 million in revenue last year? Could the football and men’s basketball players at the heart of a $16 billion industry some day collectively bargain for improved benefits at Penn State and Wisconsin?

It all depends on the state, where vastly varying political climates and labor laws could open a tangle of complications — including questions of competitive balance if, say, a star recruit were required to join a union at OSU and unable to at Michigan. READ MORE

 

Kasich and FitzGerald Kasich and FitzGerald
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2. FitzGerald campaign thrashed by Kasich on fund-raising front

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Ed FitzGerald may be a great Cuyahoga County executive, former FBI agent, and family man, but as a fund-raiser, he’s got a lot of learning to do.

That’s the opinion of some Democratic insiders who are watching with concern as Mr. FitzGerald’s campaign lags behind his Republican opponent, John Kasich, in raising money.

One national Democratic Party fund-raising official only willing to speak on background said the FitzGerald campaign was off to a rocky start and hasn’t really recovered.

Others say that, as problem-plagued as the FitzGerald roll-out has been, Mr. Kasich has enough vulnerabilities and Mr. FitzGerald has an appealing enough story to tell that it‘s too early to write him off. READ MORE

 

Tom Cruise is shown in a promotional image for the 1986 film, "Top Gun." Tom Cruise is shown in a promotional image for the 1986 film, "Top Gun."
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3. Is the once bankable Tom Cruise now risky business at the box office?

Cashing multimillion-dollar paychecks is a “problem” most of of us wish we had.

For Tom Cruise, that kind of studio money is the spoils of being among the most bankable movie stars in history, a group that includes the likes of Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford.

In a 19-year span, beginning with his first blockbuster Top Gun in 1986 through 2005’s War of the Worlds, Cruise films earned nearly $2.4 billion at the domestic box office, placing him behind only Hanks at nearly $3 billion, Eddie Murphy at $2.6, and Robin Williams at $2.5.

But nine years ago -- May 25, 2005, to be precise -- Cruise enthusiastically shared his new love for Toledo’s Katie Holmes on Oprah Winfrey -- a surreal celebrity-unhinged moment now simply referred to as “the couch-jumping” incident. This water-cooler moment, along with a few others -- including arguing the dangers of psychiatric drugs and treatments with a stunned Matt Lauer on the Today Show -- caught audiences off-guard and perhaps even damaged the established and cultivated “Cruise brand.”

Whether coincidence or not, those PR miscues immediately preceded a drop in his box-office numbers. READ MORE

 

The Blade has operated out of the Superior Street building since May 1, 1927. The Blade has operated out of the Superior Street building since May 1, 1927.
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4. The Blade to cut 131 jobs, stop printing in downtown Toledo

The Blade plans to close the production section of its building in downtown Toledo later this year, said Stephen B. Spolar, vice president of human resources and labor relations for Block Communications Inc., which owns The Blade.

The newspaper also plans to close its mailing facility on Water Street in Toledo. The closures would mean the permanent loss of 131 jobs, Mr. Spolar said.

The decision by The Blade was stated in a Workforce Adjustment and Retraining Notification notice filed Friday with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

Copies of the notice were sent to Toledo Mayor D. Michael Collins, Lucas County officials, and union officials representing the newspaper‘s affected workers.

Layoffs, according to the notice, would begin on or about Aug. 1. READ MORE

 

The team Kori’s Crusaders, with host Jeff Foxworthy, on ‘The American Bible Challenge.’ The team Kori’s Crusaders, with host Jeff Foxworthy, on ‘The American Bible Challenge.’
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5. Game Show Network reaches out to faith-based crowd

The American Bible Challenge is back for a third season, and this year Game Show Network is giving it a companion, It Takes a Church, a new dating show. Game Show Network (channels 103 and 689 on Buckeye CableSystem) is extending its audience of 80 million subscribers by stepping away from a secular grounding.

“The faith-based audience was criminally under-served by mainstream Hollywood,” said Dave Schiff, senior vice president of programming at GSN. In network research from when the Bible quiz show was first pitched to GSN, viewers with a sacred orientation overlapped with more traditional game-show watchers, Mr. Schiff said. The American Bible Challenge “respected the faith-based audience,” he said, and “showed that Christianity can be fun and entertaining, as well.”

With It Takes a Church, GSN has a show that approaches “church as a community,” Mr. Schiff said, “and what it really means to people.” Premiering Thursday at 9 p.m., the one-hour program capitalizes on the concept that church is a good place to meet a partner. “What better place to set a dating show than where people all want the best for you,” Mr. Schiff said. READ MORE

 



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