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