50 Most Influential: John Skipper
PHIL ELLSWORTH / ESPN Images
CHANGE FROM 2012: -2
In his two years as president, Skipper has struck a balance between forging new paths while remaining forcefully proud of ESPN’s heritage. This year, Skipper completed strategic on-air hires and media rights deals to meet challenges from Fox Sports and NBC Sports Group. But the year was not without missteps, the biggest of which came from Skipper’s decision to distance ESPN from PBS’s “Frontline” special, “League of Denial.” Skipper made the move after NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell voiced concern about the tone and tenor of the piece, a decision that put ESPN’s perch as a journalistic force and league partner under close scrutiny.
Abe Madkour & John Ourand on the selection of Fox's Randy Freer and Eric Shanks over ESPN's John Skipper as No. 1 on this year's list.