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Ex-Sox Linebrink lists Hinsdale home

Elite Street | By Bob Goldsborough |  Former Chicago White Sox relief pitcher Scott Linebrink  has listed his 11-room house in Hinsdale  for $825,000.

The Sox traded Linebrink, 34, on Dec. 3  to the Atlanta Braves. Now, the middle reliever has decided to sell his home, which he bought in 2008 for $815,000.  Get the full story »

Blackhawks, Ch. 9 extend broadcast deal

Tower Ticker |  The Chicago Blackhawks and Chicago’s WGN Channel 9 said Tuesday that they have extended their broadcast partnership through the 2015-16 season.

The value of the deal was not announced.

The news comes a day after pro basketball’s Los Angeles Lakers announced a new 20-year local TV deal with Time Warner Cable that will take the franchise off over-the-air television beginning with the 2012-13 season, except for national network broadcasts.

Ryan Dempster cuts price on home near Wrigley

Cubs starting pitcher Ryan Dempster on the mound in August. (Nuccio DiNuzzo/Tribune)

ELITE STREET | By Bob Goldsborough | Chicago Cubs pitcher Ryan Dempster has reduced the asking price of one of his homes near Wrigley Field from $2.25 million to $1.95 million.

In December 2009, Elite Street broke the news of Dempster’s $2.25 million listing of the 13-room Lakeview mansion, which he purchased in early 2006 from its builder for $1.715 million. Dempster placed the five-bedroom home on the market because he traded up to another, newly-built house a few blocks away that he had purchased in late 2008 for $2.69 million. Get the full story »

Magic Johnson invests in Vibe, Soul Train

Magic Johnson, who last year passed on a deal to buy Ebony and Jet magazines, will become chairman of Vibe Holdings, the owner of the magazines Vibe and Uptown and the Soul Train TV show. Get the full story »

Groupon to tweak Super Bowl commercials

An image from Groupon's Tibet ad. (Groupon)

Groupon Inc. is reworking its television commercials in response to the negative reception they received when they aired during Sunday’s Super Bowl.

Chief Executive Andrew Mason said in a Monday blog post that the company is tweaking the end of the ads to draw attention to the philanthropic causes they were intended to support.

“Ads are traditionally about shameless self promotion, and we’ve always strived to have a more honest and respectful conversation with our customers,” Mason wrote. “We would never have run these ads if we thought they trivialized the causes — even if we didn’t take them as seriously as we do, what type of company would go out of their way to be so antagonistic?” Get the full story »

Madoff trustee sues Mets’ owner to recoup $300M

The owners of the New York Mets were accused of reaping $300 million of fictitious profits from Bernard Madoff’s record Ponzi scheme, a lawsuit by the trustee seeking money for Madoff’s victims said. Get the full story »

Wall Street’s money on Packers

Forget the oddsmakers. What does the smart money on Wall Street say about the Super Bowl this Sunday? Green Bay over Pittsburgh.

Using a model that assigns teams in the National Football League a value for outperforming market expectations — what investors call alpha — the  Packers will beat the Steelers because the Packers’ alpha is lower. That is, they exceeded expectations less frequently than the Steelers during the season. Get the full story »

Groupon gets Super Bowl ad spot

From Crain’s Chicago Business | Groupon has secured a spot during the Super Bowl to air a commercial being created by Christopher Guest. Earlier, the company thought it would only have access to pre-game and post-game commercials. Get the full story>>

Office vacancy index picks Packers in Super Bowl

If a groundhog is supposed to predict the end of winter, can vacant office space signal who’s going home with a Super Bowl victory Sunday?

Just maybe, says commercial real estate firm Jones Lang LaSalle, whose executive chairman happens to be Roger Staubach, who has two Super Bowl rings of his own. Get the full story »

U.S. seizes sites that stream live sporting events

Days before the Super Bowl, government authorities in New York seized several streaming Web sites that they accused of illegally showing live and pay-per-view sports events.

Content on web sites such as, and was replaced by a note saying that the domain names were seized by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement through seizure warrants obtained by the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York.

None of the three popular sites, which feature live sports and other programming, are hosted in the U.S. Ten sites total were seized Monday, including,,,,, and

Ex-Bull Gordon drops price on townhome

By Bob Goldsborough | Elite Street | Former Chicago Bulls guard Ben Gordon has tried to sell his three-bedroom townhome in Northbrook since August.  Now, he has become motivated, cutting the 2,465-square-foot townhome’s asking price on Jan. 10  to $610,000 from $800,000 .

Gordon, 27, played for the Bulls from 2004 until 2009, when he signed a five-year, $55 million deal with the Detroit Pistons. Get the full story »

Pizza chains stocking up for Super Bowl

Super Bowl Sunday is coming and pie-makers across the country are bracing for a pizza one of the five big pizza days of the year along with Halloween, the day before Thanksgiving, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day.

All of which require some serious flour power. At the Papa John’s chain, officials expect to sell a million pizzas when the Steelers meet the Packers on Feb. 6, making it their biggest day of the year. Get the full story »

Mets weigh partial sale to cover Madoff claims

The New York Mets are exploring a partial sale of the team as they face a lawsuit from a trustee trying to reclaim money for victims of the Bernard Madoff swindle. Get the full story »

Brunswick loss narrows, says boat demand at bottom

Brunswick Corp. reported another quarterly loss Thursday as economic uncertainty continued to keep buyers out of marine showrooms.

The world’s largest maker of recreational boats posted a fourth-quarter loss of $104.1 million, or $1.17 a share, compared with a loss of $124 million, or $1.40 a share, a year earlier. Get the full story »

Old Spice man ready for new adventure

Isaiah Mustafa in and Old Spice You Tube ad. (Old Spice)

Old Spice’s suave, shirtless advertising star is taking a ride around the world in new commercials for the Procter & Gamble Co. brand.

In an indicator of the campaign’s popularity, there first is a 30-second “coming attractions”-type trailer going online Wednesday which takes you beyond former football player Isaiah Mustafa’s muscular torso — to his “striking brown eyes,” if he does say so himself.

In another effort to keep the buzz going for the YouTube hit, a yet-to-be-named “superfan” will get to debut the commercial on his or her own social network page or feed, sometime before Super Bowl Sunday. Get the full story>>