ESPN chairman Bodenheimer bows out

Longtime ESPN Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer announced Tuesday he is leaving pay TV's top channel at the end of May after serving there for 33 years.

George Bodenheimer

Bodenheimer (Image source: ESPN)

"I have been proud to represent the men and women of ESPN," said Bodenheimer in a note to colleagues, which was obtained by Multichannel News. "Every day I was asked questions about the future, and my favorite answer was, 'ESPN has the best employees in the business. They know what the mission of the company is, and together we will figure it out…I have great faith that it will always be true.'"

Bodenheimer served as president of ESPN from 1998-2011 before ceding his title to John Skipper and assuming the role of executive chairman. During his tenure as president, the network launched ESPN-HD, ESPN2-HD, ESPN3 and ESPN Deportes, among other spin-off channels.

"It is impossible to completely capture the impact George has had on our company and on so many of us during his remarkable 33 years with ESPN …his is work ethic was unparalleled, his focus on teamwork always clear," said Skipper, in the same company memo. "He believed completely in the collective talent of ESPN's employees, and he combined a realist's pragmatism with an optimist's faith in navigating ESPN through unprecedented growth."

Bodenheimer will now focus his work on advancing the cause of The V Foundation, a non-profit group dedicated to fighting cancer and named after legendary college basketball coach Jim Valvano. 

For more:
- read this Multichannel News story
read this press release

Related links: 
Dish Network scores rights to launch ESPN, Disney on OTT service
ESPN launches 15 college sports networks on Apple TV, Roku set-tops

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