SBD/Closing Bell

Lydia Murphy-Stephans Stepping Down As Pac-12 Networks President

Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans will leave the outlet in June to set up her own media advisory company. Murphy-Stephans, who was one of the highest-ranking women in sports media, already has signed Pac-12 Networks as her first client. She spent six years with the networks, four as the top exec running them. Pac-12 Commissioner Larry Scott via email said, “Under Lydia’s leadership, Pac-12 Networks grew dramatically both in programming and distribution reach, serving millions of our fans, helping to support our member universities, and providing unprecedented exposure to our women and Olympic student-athletes.”

Murphy-Stephans oversaw a unique group of channels -- one national and six regional -- that produced 850 live sporting events each year. The network said that Pac-12 Networks has been profitable every year since its ‘12 launch. However, the channels have suffered well-publicized distribution problems as well. Most notably, it has not been able to get carriage on DirecTV, which has kept its distribution number well below other college conference channels like SEC Network and BTN.

She has enjoyed a long career that has taken her from ABC Sports to Lifetime to Oxygen to MSG Media. Murphy-Stephans joined Pac-12 Networks in ‘11 as Exec VP & GM. She was named President in ‘13 after Gary Stevenson stepped down.
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