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Business Journal Profile:
Sports Negotiator

One of the Minnesota Wild's most effective new players has never even stepped on the ice. In fact, the best play of his career with the team took place during the off-season.

Stu Swartz, sports media consultant and former head of KMSP TV, has negotiated a five-year contract with KSTC TV to become the new broadcast home of the Minnesota Wild. The agreement will commence with the 2005-06 season and conclude the franchise's prior relationship with KMSP (Ch 9). In addition to 25 regular-season games on KSTC (Ch 45), the partnership also includes the potential for several weekend games to air on KSTC's sister station, KSTP (Ch 5), a thirty-minute weekend Wild show and a variety of promotional opportunities with both stations.

According to Wild executive vice president, Matt Majka, Swartz played a pivotal role in developing the new partnership and was a natural choice to lead the effort. "In addition to the great work he did for us at KMSP (Ch 9), he had also just negotiated the largest media agreement in history for the Minnesota State High School Hockey League," said Majka. "He has successful experience on both sides of the bargaining table, and that perspective was critical in helping us find potential partners who had a real enthusiasm for the team."

Majka said the final decision came down to KSTC and WFTC (Ch 29) which, like KMSP, is owned by Fox. KMSP was no longer an option because it carries Fox programming and did not want to pre-empt network shows.

"Both were very good offers and, yet, I have to say 45 was a little more aggressive," Majka said. "Stu was very effective in helping foster their new sports focus and creating a mutually rewarding opportunity."

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