Winik in league of his own

BA exec spins new biz

The National Basketball Assn.’s top programming exec, Gregg Winik, is leaving in six weeks to set up his own media company.

Winik, who has served as exec producer for NBA Entertainment since 1997 and as exec VP of programming since 2000, said, “I’m hoping to create movies and TV shows for broadcast and cable networks, and programming for the Internet.”

Sports will be the linchpin of Winik’s operation, but he’s also looking at melding sports and entertainment, such as the untitled comedy pilot Winik has worked on with George Clooney and Steven Soderbergh for HBO about a fictional pro basketball team.

Winik said one of the areas he schooled himself in at the NBA was “creating content for multimedia platforms beyond TV,” including video-on-demand, streaming video on the Internet and wireless outlets such as cell phones, iPods and portable media players.

“Gregg has played a key role in the growth of the NBA for 16 years,” said NBA commissioner David Stern, “helping build NBA Entertainment into one of the largest providers of sports programming in the world.”

In addition to coming up with ideas for shows, Winik said he’ll work with “rights holders to leverage their content through digital-distribution outlets” and pitch “longer-range projects” to “venture capitalists.”

At the NBA, Winik was exec producer on the Imax movie “Michael Jordan to the Max,” the 20th Century Fox theatrical “Like Mike,” Fine Line’s theatrical docu “Yao Ming: Year of the Yao,” and docus “Whatever Happened to Micheal Ray” and “The NBA at 50.”

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