ESPN announced some important executive developments on Friday, beginning with Connor Schell being named as Executive Vice President, Content, overseeing all of ESPN’s content creation across the sports network’s television, digital and print platforms.
Schell is the executive producer and co-creator of the Emmy-, Oscar- and Peabody Award-winning “30 for 30” documentary series, which includes the groundbreaking and Academy Award-winning film “O.J.: Made in America.” The latest “30 for 30” three-part series, “Celtics/Lakers: Best of Enemies,” is currently airing to great acclaim on ESPN.
“Connor has demonstrated keen insight into what resonates with fans, and his instincts allow him to excel at managing the creative process,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement. “I have tremendous confidence that he and his new team of talented executives will help us create dynamic content that will break through in a changing environment.”
Schell continued: “ESPN has always been at the forefront of the creation of exceptional content for sports fans across every platform, and my colleagues are the most creative, collaborative and dedicated people in the industry. I am very excited about working with this team to build on our legacy of innovation and great storytelling to continue to serve fans in new ways.” His new appointment is effective immediately.
Schell’s stewardship of ESPN Films since its inception led to its first-ever Oscar earlier this year for “O.J.: Made in America.” Along with “30 for 30,” he has served as an executive producer of various projects across The Walt Disney Company in television and film. In his most recent role as Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, ESPN Original Content, Schell has been responsible for the ESPYs, “NBA Countdown” and “The Jump,” and opinion-based studio shows including “Pardon the Interruption” and “First Take.”
Norby Williamson, Executive Vice President, Production and Executive Editor; Stephanie Druley, Senior Vice President, Events & Studio Production; and Rob King, Senior Vice President, “SportsCenter,” News & Information, will now report to Schell and oversee the following areas of content.
According to the statement from the network, Williamson will add oversight of daytime studio programming, original content, the award-winning ESPN Films group, ESPN Audio and the Talent Office to his previous content operations, creative services, multi-media sponsorship integration, management operations, content development and special projects responsibilities, such as ESPN’s successful fantasy and college basketball bracket marathons. He will also focus on working with all content leaders to help bring new concepts to life across platforms.
Druley will continue to be responsible for all of ESPN’s Event Production, and all studio content associated with the NFL, MLB and college sports. Additionally, Druley oversees all content production on the SEC Network and Longhorn Network, and will now add a global footprint with the addition of international and Spanish language production efforts. Rodolfo Martinez, Vice President, ESPN Deportes & International Production, will jointly report to Druley and Tim Bunnell, Senior Vice President, International Programming, Production, Marketing and Ad Sales.
King will continue to oversee “SportsCenter” and news content (including “E:60,” “Outside the Lines”), and will now add responsibility for all global digital and print content, including ESPN.com, The Undefeated, espnW, FiveThirtyEight, ESPN The Magazine, and ESPNFC, merging all of ESPN’s news and information operations under one management team.
Burke Magnus, Executive Vice President, Programming and Scheduling, will continue to report to Skipper, overseeing all of the company’s program acquisitions and rights holder relations, content strategy and scheduling. Magnus and his team will now assume direct oversight of ESPN’s relationship with BAMTech.