Connor Schell Named Executive VP of Content for ESPN

ESPN named Connor Schell as executive VP for content, overseeing all of the sports giant’s content creation for television, digital and print.

The change comes as ESPN has been shifting the focus of its studio programming, including SportsCenter.

Schell had been senior VP and executive producer of ESPN Original Content, overseeing programs including the ESPYs, NBA Countdown, The Jump and opinion-based studio shows including Pardon the Interruption. He also has been in charge of ESPN Films, which won an Oscar for O.J.: Made in America and has served as executive producer for other projects for the Walt Disney Co.

“Connor has demonstrated keen insight into what resonates with fans, and his instincts allow him to excel at managing the creative process. 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,” said ESPN president John Skipper.

Norby Williamson, executive VP of production and executive editor; Stephanie Druley, senior VP of events & studio production; and Rob King, senior VP of SportsCenter, news and information, all will report to Schell.

Burke Magnus, executive VP of programming and scheduling, will continue to report to Skipper.

ESPN announced the departure of John Kosner, a 20-year ESPN veteran who had been executive VP of digital and print media.

“Our tremendous scale in digital media and the smart evolution of our digital products is directly attributable to John’s passion, business savvy and relentless focus on innovation. We are managing dynamic change from a position of strength, and John’s efforts are a big reason why. I am grateful for his many contributions,” Skipper said.

ESPN also merged its strategy and development under Justin Connolly, executive VP of affiliate sales and marketing, while digital product development will move to the technology group under Aaron LaBerge, executive VP and chief technology officer.

Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.