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Volume 26 No. 65
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ACC Network's Female Leadership Ready For Launch This Month

The ACC Network is set to go live Aug. 22, but it "already has distinguished itself from any project in the history of sports television: It has been built almost entirely by women," according to Dan Wolken of USA TODAY. ESPN Senior Dir of Programming & Acquisitions Stacie McCollum said, "I have not worked on another team that has looked like this or felt like this." Though ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro came aboard in March '18, well after the ACCN project was underway, he said that the "makeup of the executive team is aligned with a key priority during his tenure of growing female viewership of all ages." Pitaro: "If we’re going to be more relevant to girls and women we need an executive leadership team and an employee base on all levels that reflects that audience.” Pitaro added, "What we’re seeing on the ACC Network side is really fantastic but we’re talking about it right now because it’s the exception. We want to get to the point where it's no longer news, it’s just commonplace." Though the ACCN's "relevance in the sports media landscape is ultimately going to rest on the games and the content surrounding them, the women who have been part of the five-year journey to launch it will look back fondly on this period of their careers because of how unique a working environment it has been." They have "intentionally gone for a look and a feel that will separate it from other conference networks, rely heavily on exclusive access programming, lean into technological flourishes and cater to an ACC fan base whose tastes are different from other leagues" (USA TODAY, 8/9).

WOMEN AND THEIR TITLES AT ESPN/ACC NETWORK
NAME
TITLE
Meg Aronowitz
Coordinating Producer
Michelle Berry
Senior Dir of Sports Marketing
Carol Boyle
Creative Dir of Strategic Animation & Design
Linda Cabral
Dir of Affiliate Marketing
Rosalyn Durant
Senior VP/College Networks
Jill Husak
Marketing Dir
Susan Mattia
VP/Affiliate Marketing
Stacie McCollum
Senior Dir of Programming & Acquisitions
Keri Potts
Senior Communications Dir
Amy Rosenfeld
Senior Coordinating Producer
Jennifer Tsong
Dir of Sports Management
Amy Ufnowski
Communications Manager
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Women Leaders At ACC Network

LONE WOLF: THE ATHLETIC's Jason Kersey wrote when the ACC Network launches, the Big 12 will "stand alone as the only Power 5 conference without a standalone cable network." That is why Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby "unveiled 'Big 12 Now,' a new digital network on ESPN+." Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione was asked if he "thought a Big 12 Network still was something that could happen." He said, "We’re past that point. It’s just not as likely. You’d have to step back and think, ‘Oh, what we would do to make that happen?’ And right now, our approach seems to be working very, very well." More Castiglione: "It’s actually been very good evolution for Big 12 without a conference network. I understand people might say we’re unlike other conferences, and to some degree we don’t have a 24/7 approach to getting lots of other events on. But in terms of the events that we have currently available in our media contracts, they’re getting significant distribution" (THEATHLETIC.com, 8/9).