Liberty Media CEO: ‘We are working through process of hiring a new GM’ of Braves

1:19 p.m Thursday, Nov. 9, 2017 Sports
HYOSUB SHIN / hshin@ajc.com
Liberty Media President and CEO Greg Maffei (left) talks with Braves Chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk during a 2016 game.

The chief executive of Braves owner Liberty Media alluded briefly to the scandal enveloping the team during the company’s quarterly conference call with Wall Street analysts Thursday. 

“We are currently working through the process of hiring a new general manager,” Liberty Media President and CEO Greg Maffei said, “and there is an MLB investigation into certain alleged violations with the Braves, which is ongoing. 

“We won’t be commenting any further on that investigation until it is complete,” Maffei said. 

The Braves announced the resignation of former general manager John Coppolella on Oct. 2, citing “a breach of Major League Baseball rules regarding the international player market.”

Liberty also addressed the investigation in a quarterly filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Thursday.

“In the event MLB were to determine that a violation of MLB rules occurred, penalties assessed by MLB could include, but are not limited to, the imposition of fines, the unwinding of any agreement relating to the acquisition of international players entered into in violation of MLB rules or the imposition of future restrictions on the acquisition of international players,” Liberty’s filing states.

“However, because MLB’s investigation is currently ongoing, neither Liberty nor the Atlanta Braves can predict the extent of penalties that may be assessed should MLB determine that a violation occurred.”

Liberty Media’s conference call Thursday came several hours after the company revealed its third-quarter financial results, which showed a 70-percent increase in Braves revenue.  

The 45-minute call with investment analysts was dominated by discussion of other businesses owned by Liberty, especially the Formula One auto-racing series.

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