Oprah Joining Star-Studded Chicago Olympics Team In Copenhagen

CHICAGO — Oprah's trying to land another big get.

The talk show queen will travel to Denmark next week to lobby International Olympic Committee members to award the 2016 Games to her beloved city.

The IOC will choose a host city Oct. 2, and Chicago is in a tight contest with Madrid, Rio de Janeiro and Tokyo.

"I love and believe in Chicago, and I think it would be the perfect host city for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games," Winfrey said Wednesday.

Winfrey's addition adds some serious star power to what was already an impressive delegation. First lady Michelle Obama will lead the group and be joined by 14 Olympic and two Paralympic gold medalists, including Michael Johnson, Nadia Comaneci, Jackie Joyner-Kersee and Nastia Liukin. Ten other Olympians and Paralympians also are going.

And then there's President Barack Obama. He is still trying to decide whether to appear personally on behalf of his adopted hometown, but he did end an advance team to Copenhagen this week.

That Winfrey would be part of the delegation is hardly a surprise. She's been an ardent supporter of the bid, and said earlier this month that she'd do whatever organizers needed. When she threw a party on Chicago's famed Michigan Avenue to celebrate the start of her 24th season, she said she hoped it would impress IOC members.

She also had members of the 2008 Olympic team on her show after Beijing.

"As a member of our community and as someone who understands and demonstrates the value of helping others, she embodies the spirit of so many Chicagoans and is truly an emissary for our bid and for the city of Chicago," Chicago 2016 chairman Patrick Ryan said.

Johnson had the defining performance the last time the Summer Games were in the United States. Wearing bright gold shoes, he became the first – and so far, only – man to win the 200 and 400 meters at the same Olympics.

Comaneci's string of seven perfect 10s at the Montreal Games captivated the world, and the Romanian teenager appeared on the covers of Sports Illustrated, Newsweek and Time.

Liukin is the reigning Olympic champion, joining Mary Lou Retton and Carly Patterson as the only American women to win the all-around title. Joyner-Kersee, an Illinois native, is among the greatest track and field athletes ever, winning three golds in the heptathlon and long jump.

Joining them are fellow gold medalists Michael Conley, the 1992 triple jump champion who grew up near the planned Olympic stadium in Washington Park; Bart Conner (gymnastics); Bryan Clay (decathlon); Brandi Chastain (soccer); Bob Ctvrtlik (volleyball); Donna de Varona and Gary Hall Jr. (swimming); Ron Freeman (track and field); Edwin Moses (hurdles); Kerri Walsh (beach volleyball); and April Holmes and Linda Mastandrea (Paralympic track and field).

Olympians Willie Banks and Connie Moore (track and field); Bob Berland (judo); Dragomir Cioroslan (weightlifting); Anita De Frantz (rowing); David Diaz (boxing); Mike Plant (speedskating); Bill Scherr (wrestling); and Diane Simpson (rhythmic gymnastics); and Paralympian Paul Moran (wheelchair tennis and sitting volleyball) also will be part of the delegation.

"It's hard for me to be unbiased about this," said Conner, a Chicago native and double gold medalist at the 1984 Olympics. "When you look at the plan and the spectacular city and the legacy plan and the convenience for the athletes against the backdrop of the city, on lots of levels, Chicago gets it and understands what the Olympics is about."

Noticeably absent is Michael Jordan, who played for the Chicago Bulls and has appeared in videos supporting Chicago's bid.


Rick Sanchez Simulates Being Trapped In Sinking Car (VIDEO)

CNN's Rick Sanchez loves filing reports that are physically demanding. Most famously Sanchez explored the effects of getting tasered (if you haven't seen that video please scroll to the bottom of this post and watch it immediately), but this time he's turned his sights on what to do if you're trapped in a sinking car that's rapidly filling up with water.

Sanchez engages a host of professionals to help him in his elaborate simulation. Julius Wiggins, a Miami police dive master, had some particularly sage, if direct, advice: "Seat belt first, then unlock the car door, then roll down the window, and then start climbing out."

In case you were curious about Sanchez's state of mind going into this, he helpfully turns somber before the camera and tells us:

This is one of those stories that really makes you fight your demons. My father always said, 'if you're scared, just say you're scared.' Guess what folks, I'm a little scared.

WATCH: (h/t Jon)


Bonus video: Rick Sanchez gets tasered (at the end of the video).

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How Brands Can Build a Successful App Strategy


NEW YORK (AdAge.com) -- More than a year into the age of the iPhone app, brands are starting to get on board -- and best practices are emerging. At Wednesday's Apps for Brands event in New York, MLB.com CEO Bob Bowman and marketers from Kraft, Bank of America, Benjamin Moore, Zagat and Men's Health convened to talk about what they've learned from their early, successful forays into the space.


Deadline NYT

In a cost-saving measure, The New York Times is moving up the deadline for its Monday-through-Saturday papers by half an hour. Managing editor John Geddes explains the move in a memo sent to NYT staff earlier today: To the staff, On Sunday, Oct 18th, we’ll be moving the deadline for our first national edition to...

Crovitz & ZelnickMedia Working On BusinessWeek Bid?

Updated: BusinessWeek is reporting that former WSJ publisher and Dow Jones (NYSE: NWS) exec Gordon Crovitz is “teaming” with ZelnickMedia in a run for the magazine, citing “executives familiar with the matter.” It’s far more likely that he is advising Zelnick on a possible bid: Crovitz worked with Zelnick and PE firm Apollo Management during last year’s ill-fated Reed Business Information auction.

Is it wishful thinking given the concerns over being acquired by Bloomberg or private equity firm OpenGate Capital? ZelnickMedia was in the pre-bid chatter mix but BW has reported the investment firm didn’t submit a formal bid by the Sept. 15 deadline. It’s unclear to me at this point whether that’s accurate. If not, given that Bloomberg got an extension, if Zelnick, aided by Crovitz,  is ready to make a bid, you’d think Terry McGraw would answer the phone.

A little oddly, BW writes of Crovitz seeking a second act to his days at Dow Jones: odd because Crovitz is an active co-founder of Journalism Online with Steve Brill and Leo Hindery, Jr., and is in the midst of ramping up for a promised beta launch this fall. I would be surprised if this involves an operating role should Zelnick wind up with BW—a board position, maybe, since serving on boards has been part of his work mix since leaving Dow Jones after it was acquired by News Corp.