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ESPN Consolidates Programming & Production Departments

ESPN president John Skipper announced to staff Tuesday a number of personnel moves within its content division that will consolidate its programming and production departments.

John Wildhack will assume the role of executive VP of programming and production, reporting directly to Skipper. His new role adds oversight for programming acquisitions, rights holder management and overall scheduling.

Norby Williamson gets a new title as well, executive VP of production, program scheduling and development, reporting to Wildhack. Williamson assumes additional responsibilities in programming and production oversight of ESPN International production, audio, ESPN Deportes, production operations and creative services.

In addition, ESPN said that news director Vince Doria informed the company he will retire early next year. Doria, who will now report to SportsCenter and news senior VP Rob King, will begin to transition his newsgathering responsibilities to Craig Bengtson, VP, director of news.

King, Mark Gross, Burke Magnus and Stephanie Druley will all report to Wildhack, while Steve Anderson, Traug Keller, John Papa, Marcia Keegan and Rodolfo Martinez report to Williamson.

"A hallmark of our company has been consistent focus on enhancing creativity and innovation in service to sports fans and it is important to continually align our people and resources to support that effort," said Skipper in a memo to staff. "Toward that end, we are implementing a new structure in our programming and production departments that seeks to renew and expand our creative energies while effectively positioning our individual strengths."