Steve Koonin named CEO of the Atlanta Hawks (Updated)

Bruce Bennett

The Atlanta Hawks will reportedly name Turner Broadcasting executive Steve Koonin as its CEO.

ESPN.com's Brian Windhorst reports that NBA owners have approved Turner executive Steve Koonin as a new part owner of the Atlanta Hawks.

Reports indicate that Koonin will be CEO of the Hawks with Bruce Levenson remaining as controlling owner.

The move will result in a slight restructuring of the organization. Bob Williams currently serves as president of the Hawks and Philips Arena will remain in the organization according to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and will remain in charge of the arena. Danny Ferry is still President of Basketball Operations and General Manager.

Koonin is a high level executive with Turner and oversees programming, scheduling and marketing for TBS, TNT, Turner Classic Movies and truTV. The AJC suggests that the Hawks have been looking for a way to improve their image within the city and Koonin has successfully led rebranding efforts within Turner. Koonin is credited for luring late night talk show host Conan O'Brien to TBS.

Its not known if any of these moves will result in anything that is visible to fans anytime soon but it appears to be a strong hire for the organization. Koonin has been successful in his tenure at Turner and you can never have enough smart people in the organization.

The Atlanta Hawks have yet to officially announce the move but an announcement is expected to come sometime this week.

Update

The Atlanta Hawks have confirmed the move via press release. Here is a statement from Bruce Levenson:

"Steve Koonin's reputation as a game changer in both marketing and media makes him the ideal leader to usher the Atlanta Hawks into a new era. He has created a legacy as an expert in sports marketing, television, branding and digital media," said Hawks Majority Owner Bruce Levenson. "The Hawks are thrilled that Steve is joining the ownership group as both our CEO and a partner."

"I have known Steve for more than two decades and based both on first-hand experience and his stellar record of accomplishments, he is one of the very best executives and creative minds in the entertainment industry," said NBA Commissioner Adam Silver. "I am thrilled that he is joining the Hawks and bringing his expertise and passion for the game to the team and its fans."

According to the release, Koonin will oversee all business, financial and strategic operations of the Atlanta Hawks and Philips Arena.

Statement from Koonin:

"I have a deep commitment to Atlanta - my family has been a part of this city for nearly a century. I have watched the excitement and potential of the entire city growing together as our sports teams achieve success," said Koonin. "I couldn't be more excited to join the Hawks organization. We have a lot of work to do, but I believe my professional experience, my passion for this team and the NBA, as well as the Hawks' great existing executive talent, including our President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry and President of Business Operations for the Hawks and Philips Arena President Bob Williams, make this organization's future very bright."

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