ESPN names James Pitaro as new network president

James Pitaro takes over as head of ESPN after previously serving as president of Disney Interactive and as vice president and head of Yahoo Media. (ESPN)

ESPN has picked James Pitaro to serve as the new president of ESPN and co-chair of Disney Media Network. He’s stepping in for John Skipper, who announced his resignation last year.

Pitaro will report directly to Disney CEO Bob Iger.

“Jimmy is a talented and dedicated leader with the right strategic vision, relentless drive and passion for sports required to lead the stellar ESPN team at this incredibly dynamic time,” said Iger in a statement. “Jimmy forged his career at the intersection of technology, sports and media, and his vast experience and keen perspective will be invaluable in taking ESPN into the future. I also want to extend my utmost thanks to George Bodenheimer for serving as Acting Chair of ESPN these past few months; he is a true industry pioneer and helped make ESPN the undisputed leader in sports.”


Like this story? Subscribe to FierceVideo!

The Video industry is an ever-changing world where big ideas come along daily. Cable, Media and Entertainment, Telco, and Tech companies rely on FierceVideo for the latest news, trends, and analysis on video creation and distribution, OTT delivery technologies, content licensing, and advertising strategies. Sign up today to get news and updates delivered to your inbox and read on the go.

RELATED: ESPN’s Skipper steps down, Bodenheimer to fill in

Pitaro’s hire arrives roughly three months after Skipper suddenly announced his resignation. In December, Skipper said in a statement that he was leaving ESPN in order to address a substance abuse issue.

"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem,” said Skipper. "I have disclosed that decision to the company, and we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign. I will always appreciate the human understanding and warmth that Bob displayed here and always.”

Pitaro takes over as head of ESPN after previously serving as president of Disney Interactive and as vice president and head of Yahoo Media.

He comes to ESPN as the network is preparing to launch its ESPN+ subscription streaming service. The service is launching this spring and it will cost $4.99 per month.


Suggested Articles

Disney is using its D23 fan expo to announce lots of details about its upcoming Disney+ streaming video service, which will throw in 4K content and up to 4…

Short-form video streaming service Quibi is without an important executive ahead of its April 2020 launch after Tim Connolly, head of partnerships and…

SSIMWAVE, a company specializing in quality of experience for video content, is adding the ability inspect Dolby Vision content for file-based streaming…