John Skipper To Replace George Bodenheimer As ESPN President
ESPN this morning announced that ESPN/ABC Sports President GEORGE BODENHEIMER has been named Exec Chair of the net, while Exec VP/Content JOHN SKIPPER has been named President, effective Jan. 1. Bodenheimer, who will relinquish his day-to-day operating responsibilities to Skipper, will continue to serve as ESPN BOD Chair. He will continue to report to Walt Disney President & CEO BOB IGER; Skipper will report to both Bodenheimer and Iger. Bodenheimer has served as President for 13 years, and he said in a statement, “I felt it was a good time to step away from the day to day management of ESPN and let others take the lead.” Skipper joined ESPN in ’97 and has held his current role since October ’05 (ESPN). THE WRAP's Tim Molloy notes Bodenheimer has been ESPN's "longest serving top executive since its 1979 launch and served over a period of dramatic growth" (THEWRAP.com, 11/22). In L.A., Meg James notes ESPN "cemented itself as a television juggernaut under Bodenheimer’s 13-year run as its president" (LATIMES.com, 11/22). Newsday’s Neil Best wrote on his Twitter feed, “Most fans don't know or care who John Skipper is. But he now is among the handful of most powerful people in sports.” The N.Y. Times’ Richard Sandomir wrote, “Has been for quite a while. Been far more publicly outfront and upfront than Bodenheimer for years.” SI's Grant Wahl wrote, "Good news for soccer on US TV."