Lydia Murphy-Stephans Stepping Down As Pac-12 Networks Prez To Open Own Company
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. “As Pac-12 Networks’ first general manager, Lydia’s energy and leadership were critical in turning our ambitious vision into a reality,” Pac-12 Commissioner LARRY SCOTT said via email. “Then, upon becoming Networks president, she made history by becoming the first woman to head a national sports network. 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 channels -- 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. Murphy-Stephans has enjoyed a long career that has taken her from ABC Sports to Lifetime to Oxygen to MSG Media. She joined Pac-12 Networks in ‘11 as Exec VP & GM. She was named President in ‘13 after GARY STEVENSON stepped down.