Crane Kenney, Senior VP/General Counsel and Secretary

Crane Kenney assumed responsibilty for the Cubs when the Tribune company was acquired and taken private by Sam Zell late last year. He is not as slick as his predecessor, Dennis FitzSimons and therefore has been taking shots in the media lately for floating his ideas to raise additional revenue for the franchise. In his defense, I understand Mr. Zell has challenged all Tribune entities to step back and re-examine all aspects of how to cut costs and increase revenue for their business units, the Cubs no exception. So Crane has auctioned off 71 new premium seats, in partnership with the CBOE ( He has been floating the balloon of naming rights for Wrigley which has been met with a ton of negative reaction from fans and media. He has been evaluating additional advertising revenue streams and frankly, I wouldn’t be surprised if he tried to sell Nascar-like sponsorship on the grounds crew uniforms.  Everything is in play in Cubland.

I’ve had the great fortune to sit in some of those premium (first three rows from the field) seats at Wrigley a few times. Each time I sat close enough to spit on (not that I would) Cubs executives such as Dennis FitzSimons, John McDonough, and Crane Kenney.  I will tell you this about both FitzSimons and Kenney: they are absolutely fans of the team. I personally observed them in their seats for each game, beginning to end, paying attention to every pitch, high-fiving at Cubbie home runs, and in fact, standing for the entire half of the bottom of the 9th inning with the Cubs down by more than a few but with a runner on and barely a prayer to win the game. They were clappping and cheering with the masses and visably dismayed when the Cubs eventually lost the game. They are fans, no doubt. Here is a photo I took last September of Crane Kenney and wife:

 Crane Kenney and wife at beautiful Wrigley Field 

I was so impressed by what I witness from the highest Cubs brass, I found the email address of Dennis FitzSimons, then CEO of Tribune Corp, and told him what I thought. He wrote back the same day saying we needed to get our offense going and thanks for being a great Cub fan. This is from the CEO of a publicly-held company!  Impressive. So I sent him another email last fall when the Cubs made the playoffs. I just said congratulations on October Cubs baseball.  He replied (again, same day) saying “thanks, on the way to Arizona (Cubs played the AZ Diamondbacks). Let’s get 11 more (wins)!” 

So back to Crane.  He is a dead ringer for character actor James Cromwell, only younger.  You agree? Check out these pics:

Cromwell:  James Cromwell

Kenney:  Crane Kenney


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    March 21, 2008   Posted in: biz of baseball, Team Ownership

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