Jul 28, 2014
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Turner Executive Named New CEO of the Atlanta Hawks

A lifelong Atlanta resident, Koonin will be tasked with growing the NBA team's fan base and improving crowd turnout.

Turner Executive Named New CEO of the Atlanta Hawks
The Atlanta Hawks announced Sunday that Turner Entertainment Networks president Steve Koonin would become the new CEO of the group. Bruce Levenson, who has had a stake in the team since 2004, will remain controlling owner, while Koonin will act as an Atlanta-based partner with a partial stake.

According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Hawks brought Koonin on board to help the team appeal to more free agents and build a larger fan base. The team had its seventh straight playoff appearance last weekend, the longest streak in the East, but consistently fail to have a large crowd turnout. Of 30 teams in the National Basketball Association, the Hawks rank 28th in crowd size, with an average of 14,400 fans attending each game, according to ESPN.

"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,” Levenson told the AJC.

Koonin had served as president at Turner since 2000 and oversaw TNT, TBS and TruTV. Before that, he spent 14 years at Coca-Cola. Both companies are headquartered in Atlanta.

“I have a deep commitment to Atlanta,” Koonin said in a statement on the NBA website. “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. I couldn’t be more excited to join the Hawks organization.”

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