ORLANDO, Fla. – Kraig Kann, one of Golf Channel’s original on-air personalities, is leaving the network to become the LPGA’s chief communications officer. Kann will begin his post Aug. 29.
Reporting directly to commissioner Mike Whan as part of the organization’s executive leadership team, Kann is tasked with leading the LPGA’s public relations and communications efforts, including tournament support, media interaction and fan awareness.
“Since the first time I met him I’ve been impressed,” Whan told GolfChannel.com Wednesday. “He coaches and helps people. The thing I like most about him is that if you watch a show he does he always makes that show about the player or about the news, it’s not about him. That’s what we need here at the LPGA. He doesn’t need the spotlight on himself, he wants it on our players.”
Kann, 45, has hosted virtually every show on Golf Channel over the past 16 years including “Golf Central” and “Grey Goose 19th Hole.” In March 2010, Kann founded HTK Media, a consulting and media training company that helps corporations and athletes grow brands and frame messages.
Whan and Kann have been in communication over the past several months about the position and Whan admits that he thought this partnership was a “long-shot” the first time they spoke. Kann is excited about his new challenge with the LPGA but admits that it’s also bittersweet.
“To have been a part of something like Golf Channel since its inception has been remarkable. It’s a great place filled with many great people and headed for even bigger things,” Kann said. “Ask anybody who knows me well and they’ll tell you that a career in sports television was my goal since childhood.
“I’m sure I’ll miss the day-to-day rush of adrenaline and the idea of talking golf and entertaining. But nothing is forever. This opportunity gives me a new energy, and I’d like to think that my understanding of the television business will help me in this new role with the LPGA.”
Mike Scanlan, the LPGA’s director of media communication, and Heather Daly-Donofrio, who has added public relations duties to her role as director of tournament regulations, will both report to Kann.
“To me, it’s the tour with all the potential in the world and some of the game’s most charismatic players,” Kann said. “This isn’t about putting the tour on the map, this is about mapping a new course and helping these ladies get the best possible platform to share their stories and show their talents.”
A Chicago area native, Kann’s television career included stops in Kalamazoo, Mich., Fort Myers, Fla., Columbus, Ga., and Columbia, Mo. A 1988 graduate of the University of Missouri, Kraig and his wife, Kimberly, reside in Orlando, Fla., with their three children.