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CHICAGO, May 4 — Bally Total Fitness Holding
Corporation (OTC: BFTH), one of the largest operators of fitness centers in
the U.S., announced today that Barry R. Elson will step down as acting CEO
effective May 31, 2007. He will facilitate a transition of his
responsibilities by providing the Company consulting services over the
following 90 days and by continuing to serve as a Director. The Company,
which has an active search ongoing for a permanent CEO, said that Don R.
Kornstein will assume the new role of Chief Restructuring Officer, continue to
serve as interim Chairman of the Board and facilitate the transition relating
to Mr. Elson stepping down as CEO.
Mr. Kornstein stated, “On behalf of the Board of Directors, senior field
and corporate management and the entire Bally staff, I wish to acknowledge
Barry’s outstanding contributions to Bally Total Fitness as acting CEO.
Barry’s strong commitment, leadership and focus on operational improvements
are resulting in significant changes across the Company and we appreciate his
efforts and look forward to his future contributions. By building on Barry’s
accomplishments and working with our creditors, we look forward to
establishing a strong and stable financial foundation and implementing a new
vision for Bally Total Fitness.”
Mr. Elson added, “Over the past nine months, we have been aggressively
pursuing literally dozens of initiatives to enhance the Bally Total Fitness
member experience. As a result of comprehensive marketing research studies,
the Company is significantly better positioned to more effectively target its
marketing and retention efforts. We now have for the first time a much richer
understanding of our members’ needs and what we have to do to retain more of
our existing members and who to target as our better prospects. Bally Total
Fitness has a strong brand franchise and customer base and both of these
factors will be leveraged in moving the Company forward.”
Mr. Kornstein was elected to the Bally Board of Directors in January 2006
and was named interim Chairman in August 2006. He is founder and managing
member of Alpine Advisors LLC, a strategic, financial and management
consulting firm serving a broad range of companies. Prior to founding Alpine
Advisors, Mr. Kornstein served as Chief Executive Officer, President and
Director of Jackpot Enterprises Inc., a New York Stock Exchange-listed
company. Mr. Kornstein was also a Senior Managing Director in the investment
banking department of Bear, Stearns & Co. Inc. for 17 years.
About Bally Total Fitness
Bally Total Fitness is among the largest commercial operators of fitness
centers in the U.S., with over 400 facilities located in 29 states, Mexico,
Canada, Korea, China and the Caribbean under the Bally Total Fitness(R), Bally
Sports Clubs(R) and Sports Clubs of Canada (R) brands. Bally offers a unique
platform for distribution of a wide range of products and services targeted to
active, fitness-conscious adult consumers.