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ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro Taps Burke Magnus, Rosalyn Durant to Oversee Content, Programming and Acquisitions

The leadership changes at the network are part of a broader restructuring under returning Disney CEO Bob Iger

ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro has tapped Burke Magnus and Rosalyn Durant to help lead the network as part of its reorganization under returning Disney CEO Bob Iger.

According to a memo to staff, Magnus, a 28-year ESPN veteran who most recently served as president of programming and original content, will now lead the newly formed content organization as president, with oversight of studio shows, live events, newsgathering, investigative journalism, original content/ESPN Films, the Talent Office, audio, digital, and social media. Effective immediately, Stephanie Druley, David Roberts, Norby Williamson, Brian Lockhart and Kaitee Daley will all report to Burke.

Meanwhile, Rosalyn Durant will return to ESPN as executive vice president of programming and acquisitions. Durant has served as senior vice president of Disney Springs, Water Parks and ESPN Wide World of Sports since early 2020 and previously served as ESPN’s senior vice president of college networks, overseeing ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network and the launch of the ACC Network. In addition to programming and rights acquisitions, Durant will also oversee ESPN+ and ESPN International. She will relocate to Bristol and split her time between there and Charlotte.

“There will be a period of transition for both Burke and Rosalyn,” Pitaro noted. “Burke will continue to be involved in certain negotiations during this transition period while Rosalyn wraps up her work with DPEP.” 

Additionally, head of content operations and creative surround Tina Thornton will expand her current responsibilities to oversee the company’s production operations group, which is moving back to ESPN. As part of the move, the synergy team will move from Thornton’s organization to the marketing team under Laura Gentile, who will now oversee all aspects of ESPN Marketing, including ESPN+ and social marketing.

Magnus, Durant, Thornton and Gentile will all report to Pitaro. Also reporting to Pitaro is head of sports business development and innovation Mark Walker, executive editor-in-chief of special projects Rob King and senior vice president of ESPN strategy Chara-Lynn Aguiar.

Legal, HR, communications and finance will continue to report to both Disney corporate and Pitaro, while technology, affiliate sales, ad sales, and international leads will report to Pitaro and Disney Entertainment co-chairs Dana Walden and Alan Bergman. 

“We know that transition can be hard, especially after undergoing so much change over the last few years,” Pitaro’s memo concluded. “We have the team, expertise, and structure in place to continue to build ESPN, and your leadership team is excited and confident about our future.”