ESPN Shuffles Exec Structure, Consolidates Programming/Production
Longtime ESPN exec John Wildhack emerged as the biggest winner from ESPN's move today to consolidate its programming and production departments under one umbrella. Under a new structure that was announced today, Wildhack will oversee the combined department as Exec VP/Programming & Production, reporting to ESPN President John Skipper. Norby Williamson will become Exec VP/Production, Program Scheduling & Development, reporting to Wildhack. Previously, Williamson reported to Skipper. ESPN says nobody was fired as a result of these moves, which essentially sees Skipper shedding one direct report.
Other big winners from today's announcement are Burke Magnus, Rob King and Mark Gross. Magnus will get much more responsibility as Senior VP/Programming Acquisitions. In his new role, he will oversee all of the company’s program acquisitions and rights holder relations – a role he previously had led in the college area. King is moving from digital and print to become Senior VP/SportsCenter and News. VP/Editorial Digital & Print Media Patrick Stiegman will take over King’s previous role.
Gross, the Senior VP/Production & Remote Events, will oversee all event production for the U.S. networks, ESPN's talent office and the NFL, NBA and college studio operations. Senior VP & Exec Producer Jed Drake, who had reported to Wildhack, now reports to Gross.
As part of the changes, four execs will report to Wildhack: King, Magnus, Gross and VP/Production College Networks Stephanie Druley. Williamson's direct reports will include Exec VP/Content Operations & Creative Services Steve Anderson, Senior VP, Production Business Divisions/Audio & Deportes Traug Keller, VP/Programming Content Strategy & Scheduling John Papa, VP/Production Marcia Keegan, and VP/International & ESPN Deportes Production Rodolfo Martinez.