Longtime Fox RSN President Jeff Krolik Retiring In August
Fox Sports Regional Networks President Jeff Krolik, who ran the Fox-branded RSNs for the past 15 years, will leave his position on Aug. 30 -- around one year after Sinclair assumed control of the channels. Sinclair already hired L.A.-based Nolan Partners to conduct the search for Krolik’s replacement. Krolik’s decision to retire comes during a precarious moment for the RSNs, which have had no live games to show since mid-March.
Krolik said his retirement was based more on the one-year anniversary of the closing of Sinclair’s $10.6B deal last August. “We’ve been through two acquisitions and one full integration in the past three years,” Krolik said, referring to Disney’s purchase of them from Fox in '18 followed by Sinclair’s purchase of them last year. “There’s no particular magic to it. At some point you just have to make a decision about when it’s the right time. I’ll be 64 this year, and the one-year anniversary just seemed like the right time."
Despite the challenges facing the RSN business -- from cord cutting to the lack of live sports during the pandemic -- Krolik told THE DAILY that he is leaving the business in good shape. “Live local sports is a great business,” he said. “It’s a terrific segment of the media business to be in. ... When baseball returns, that’s going to be a national story. No disrespect, but the return of ‘Property Brothers’ isn’t.”
Krolik, who started in the business with HBO in '79, has a reputation for having some of the deepest relationships in the business. He has negotiated more than 40 team rights deals and oversaw a strategy that saw his group buy majority stakes in YES Network and SportsTime Ohio. He launched RSNs in the Carolinas, Indiana, New Orleans, Oklahoma and San Diego. Krolik says he plans to enjoy retirement and has no current plans to get back in the business. “I have almost no regrets,” he said. “The next 20 years are going to be another great ride.”