In the latest management change at Gulfstream Park, media relations executive Caton Bredar and marketing executive Mike Cronin are no longer at the Hallandale Beach, Fla., track effective June 10.
Cronin had been Gulfstream’s assistant to the president for marketing since last November. From the mid-1990s until 2008, he was vice president of marketing at Calder Casino & Race Course in Miami Gardens, Fla.
Bredar had been Gulfstream’s executive producer in the media development department since last December. While heading the Gulfstream public relations staff, she continued her long-standing work as a racing reporter and analyst on telecasts for HRTV, ESPN, and ABC. That included bringing additional on-site HRTV coverage to Gulfstream.
Steve Calabro, Gulfstream’s general manager, would not disclose reasons for not retaining Cronin and Bredar, who were brought in by his predecessor, Ken Dunn, whose contract expired April 30. Calabro said the changes are part of a larger plan “to move in a new direction” in areas that include marketing and public relations.
Calabro said Gulfstream plans to appoint new top media department officials “well in time to prepare” for the track’s 2011 race meet that will begin Jan. 5.
Parent MI Developments promoted Calabro to Gulfstream general manager May 27. He had been the track’s director of gaming, with responsibilities for its casino and poker room, since 2006.
Calabro succeeded Dunn as Gulfstream’s top executive. Dunn had been the track’s president and general manager since last November.
“We are a multi-faced property,” Calabro said. “With all that, horse racing is our primary product. We have the best racing in the country.”
Changes in the top job and the media department began at Gulfstream early last November, after Bill Murphy resigned as president and general manager. He had held those positions since 2006, with accomplishments that included an all-sources handle increase in 2009.
Last December, Gulfstream’s new management made a series of major changes in its media department, with Mike Mullaney and Ron Nicoletti prominent among those who lost jobs in the shakeup. Mullaney had been Gulfstream’s media relations director since 2005, while Nicoletti was Gulfstream’s handicapper, director of simulcasts, and principal host for its race-day telecasts.
MID announced Dunn’s resignation May 27. He cited time constraints and a desire, at age 63, to spend time with his family. However, Dunn had made it known that he enjoyed his work at Gulfstream; there were reports that, like some other racing executives, he had become frustrated about steps in dealing with Magna Entertainment Corp. and its successor.
On June 11, Bredar and Cronin both said they had hoped to remain at Gulfstream even after the departure of Dunn.
“I was surprised and disappointed when they told me they would not renew my contract,” Bredar said. “I would have loved the chance to build on what we did during this year’s meet.”
Bredar said she will continue her work as a TV racing analyst.
Before going to Calder, Cronin was director of marketing at Arlington Park in Arlington Heights, Ill.
“I am proud of what we accomplished this year at Gulfstream,” Cronin said. “We grew our handle during a difficult economy, when many other tracks had declines (in handle).”
Cronin said he hopes “to continue in racing in some capacity.”