A sports league with extreme sensitivity to P.R. currently has no P.R. chief.
A memo sent by Commissioner Roger Goodell to all teams and league staff points out that former executive V.P. of communications Joe Lockhart officially exited on March 16, and that the position currently is vacant. New COO Maryann Turcke “is currently conducting a search for [Lockhart’s] replacement and we expect to announce his successor in the coming weeks,” Goodell writes.
Goodell also announced a restructuring at the top of the league office, where the leaders of football operations (Troy Vincent) and player health and safety (Jeff Miller) will now report directly to Goodell, not to Turcke.
“These changes reflect the League’s commitment to the game and player safety as important pillars to our future success,” Goodell writes.
Former NFL Chief Marketing Officer Mark Waller will temporarily replace Dawn Hudson as the league searches for a new CMO. Goodell explains in the memo that the league expects to have a new CMO in place before the start of the 2018 season.
The overriding goal of the restructuring, as one source with knowledge of the situation explained it to PFT, is to better define and develop the executive team, in order to assist Goodell and ownership move the league forward in the best way possible. For now, however, there’s no one person responsible for ensuring that the intended message is communicated in the best way possible.