DISNEY exec named new ESPN head
Just released: 2018-03-05
Disney has named James Pitaro President of ESPN and Co-Chair, Disney Media Networks.
Jimmy is a talented and dedicated leader with the right strategic vision, relentless drive and passion for sports required to lead the stellar ESPN team at this incredibly dynamic time, Robert A. Iger,, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, The Walt Disney Company said in making the announcement. Jimmy forged his career at the intersection of technology, sports and media, and his vast experience and keen perspective will be invaluable in taking ESPN into the future. I also want to extend my utmost thanks to George Bodenheimer for serving as Acting Chair of ESPN these past few months; he is a true industry pioneer and helped make ESPN the undisputed leader in sports.
Pitaro, who has served as Chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media since 2016, will report directly to Iger.
Pitaro replaces John Skipper who resigned as president of ESPN and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks in December, citing his substance abuse problem.
Both internal and external candidates had been rumored to be candidates with Pitaro listed as one of the top candidates from within the company, as Deadline exclusively reported earlier. He is well regarded internally and previously oversaw the development of Yahoo Sports. Other possible candidates were CNN Worldwide President Jeff Zucker, ESPN EVPs Connor Schell and Justin Connolly, and Turner Broadcasting president David Levy.
Pitaro will take the reins in what has been a turbulent period for the network.
A month after Skippers departure, Jemele Hill exited as co-anchor of the 6 PM hour of ESPNs SportsCenter. She has remained with the Disney-owned network, moving to ESPN vertical The Undefeated as chief correspondent and senior columnist. In September, Hill became the target of a tweet from President Donald Trump in which he demanded ESPN apologize for untruth after Hill tweeted that Trump is a white supremacist.Read More...