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Sunday, February 25, 2024
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Mets Owner’s Major Hire Underscores Emphasis on Media Revenue

  • Cohen turns to Bloomberg Media executive to lead team's business operations.
  • Leadership shifts arrive at critical juncture for franchise.
A general view of Citi Field, home of the New York Mets.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

With the New York Mets already in the midst of a significant transition after a deeply disappointing 2023 season, the club has turned to a longtime media executive to run its business side. 

The Mets and owner Steve Cohen have hired outgoing Bloomberg Media CEO M. Scott Havens as their new president of business operations. The position has been vacant since Sandy Alderson transitioned to a consulting role last year.

The Mets’ hiring of Havens extends extends a trend seen in many other parts of sports, particularly major college entities such as the Big Ten Conference and Notre Dame, in which media executives are increasingly being tapped for senior leadership roles. In many instances, that media experience is trumping prior tenure in sports.

This latest hire arrives at a pivotal time for the franchise, less than three months after the Mets also hired former Milwaukee Brewers executive David Stearns to run the club’s baseball operations. Havens takes the business reins as Cohen looks to turn the page on a season that began with an MLB-record $344 million Opening Day payroll but ended with a trade-deadline roster dump and a 75-87 record.

Like all other MLB clubs and the league as a whole, the Mets also are seeking to find a solid pathway for their local media rights. 

SportsNet New York — co-owned by former club owner Fred Wilpon’s Sterling Equities, Charter Communications, and NBC Sports Group — is on relatively solid ground compared to the bankrupt Diamond Sports Group. But YouTube TV dropped SNY this past season, and all regional sports networks are grappling with a new reality in the face of accelerated cord-cutting, making Havens’s media experience that much more valuable.

“He’ll provide a modern vision and strategic direction for our organization,” Cohen said.

Set to begin his new role in January, Havens also joins the Mets as Cohen embarks on an ambitious, $8 billion plan to remake the long-derided Citi Field area with a casino and entertainment complex. 

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