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  • Writer's pictureFagothethird Franklin

ESPN Reveals New Senior Leadership

New York- ESPN executives Jodi Markley and Connor Schell will be leaving the company next year.

In 2021, ESPN will reconstruct their senior leadership since Markley and Schell will be exploring their options outside of the company. Since 2004, Schell has been ESPN's Vice President of content. He has decided that he will be starting his own production company and ESPN will be his first client that he will be working with.

Markley has decided to retire after 32 years of working with ESPN. The award-winning executive has been instrumental in numerous network launches in the U.S. and around the globe.

Here is what Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content had to say about Markley and Schell. “When Jodi and Connor each approached me about starting their next chapters, those conversations were filled with mixed emotions. Jodi has been a trailblazer, not just at ESPN, but throughout our industry, and, because of her entrepreneurial approach, ESPN has always led the way. Connor is an exceptional storyteller who has led some of the biggest content success stories in all of media."

"He brings great vision and passion to his work and that’s why I’m particularly pleased that he will continue to partner with ESPN on our film development and ESPYS initiatives in his new role. I am very happy for both of them; they have accomplished so much here and will certainly be missed at ESPN."

“Going forward, our newly-formed senior leadership group is poised to drive future success. The talented team is comprised of gifted and respected leaders. They are diverse thinkers who bring a collaborative spirit and a necessary focus on future strategy. I’m thrilled to have them as colleagues.”

Here are the new faces that will be apart of the Senior Leadership.

Chara-Lynn Aguiar, Vice President, Strategy and Office of the Chairman, will continue to focus on ESPN’s strategic development and serve as an advisor to the Chairman and his direct reports, providing insight and managing a wide variety of internal and external relationships.

Stephanie Druley, Executive Vice President, Event and Studio Production, will co-lead ESPN’s production area, including Monday Night Football, college football, NBA, studio and event production.

Laura Gentile, Senior Vice President, Marketing & Social Media, will be responsible for the creative marketing for the ESPN brand, including all shows and platforms, special events and will also pick up responsibility for its social media content.

Thomas Hennessy, Senior Vice President, Finance, will manage ESPN’s financial matters and budgets, in collaboration with colleagues at The Walt Disney Company.

Rob King, Senior Vice President, Editor-At-Large, will be responsible for the company’s overall journalistic direction, working closely with leaders across ESPN Films and original content, digital content, social media, multi-platform journalism and storytelling and global content, and will advise ESPN and its senior leadership team on editorial issues.

Chris LaPlaca, Senior Vice President, Communications, will lead internal and external communications efforts.

Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming and Original Content, will oversee programming acquisition and scheduling, and now be responsible for ESPN and ESPN+ original content development and scheduling.

Kevin Merida, Senior Vice President and Editor-in-Chief, The Undefeated, will lead this expanding platform that showcases the intersection of race, culture and sports, and will also partner closely with the Disney General Entertainment and Hulu teams to expand this groundbreaking property.

Diane Morse, Chief Counsel, will guide ESPN on all legal matters and governmental affairs.

Paul Richardson, Senior Vice President, Human Resources, will oversee the wide-ranging HR functions, including diversity and inclusion, corporate citizenship and security.

Tina Thornton, Senior Vice President, Content Operations, formerly in the Office of the President, will now lead ESPN’s remote operations and events, Creative Works and Creative Services, ESPN Synergy, and the ESPN Next program, among other responsibilities.

Mark Walker, Senior Vice President, Content Business Development and Innovation, will be responsible for identifying and developing collaborative relationships to drive ESPN’s content initiatives forward.

Norby Williamson, Executive Vice President and Executive Editor, will co-lead ESPN’s production area, including its flagship SportsCenterGet Up and First Take studio shows and event production, as well as cross-platform journalism and storytelling.

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