SBD/December 5, 2017/People and Pop Culture

ESPN Restructures Content Group, With Merida, Geist, Sobieski Adding Responsibilities

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ESPN has restructured its content group, with several execs getting much more responsibility. The moves, which were detailed in emails to employees last night, offer a snapshot into the execs who will make up the new power base under Exec VP/Content CONNOR SCHELL, Senior VP/Original Content, Newsgathering & Digital Media ROB KING, Senior VP/Social Content RYAN SPOON and Senior VP/Business & Content Strategy LAURA GENTILE. The timing of the moves comes nearly a week after 150 ESPN staffers were laid off. Among those gaining the most new responsibilities is The Undefeated Editor-in-Chief KEVIN MERIDA, who now will oversee all of ESPN’s enterprise and investigative coverage -- which includes "OTL" and "E:60" -- in addition to running The Undefeated. Merida will report to King. Another exec gaining more responsibility appears to be VP & Exec Producer for ESPN Films and "30 for 30" LIBBY GEIST, who also will report to King. Geist, an SBJ/SBD "Game Changer" this year, will run ESPN’s Features Unit in addition to handling the the "30 for 30" franchise. The biggest move might belong to JULIE SOBIESKI, an SBJ/SBD "Forty Under 40" honoree last year. Sobieski had been handling MLB and NBA relationships, reporting to ESPN Exec VP/Programming & Scheduling BURKE MAGNUS. Under the reorganization, Sobieski now reports to Gentile and will oversee content operations and strategy for her business and content strategy group.

MORE MOVING PARTS: Other notable moves include new responsibilities for ESPN The Magazine Editor-in-Chief ALISON OVERHOLT, who reports to King and will oversee long-form content on ESPN.com in addition to her current role running the magazine and espnW. ESPN VP/Content Strategy, "SportsCenter" & News MIKE SHIFFMAN, who also reports to King, will handle ESPN’s multiplatform newsgathering and news operations teams, while VP/Audience Development NATE RAVITZ, another King report, will focus on programming ESPN's app and website. Senior Coordinating Producer for "SportsCenter" Digital, Now & Next-Gen Content GLENN JACOBS, who reports to Spoon, will run ESPN’s digital video and production teams.
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