Shanks Departs DirecTV To Become President Of Fox Sports

DirecTV executive vice president of Entertainment Eric Shanks has been named president of Fox Sports in a major executive reorganization for the broadcast and cable sports division.

Shanks, who oversaw DirecTV's original entertainment, interactive, programming and advertising sales, will succeed former Fox Sports president Ed Goren, who will move into a newly created position as vice chairman of Fox Sports Media Group effective June 1. Both Shanks -- who worked at Fox Sports in the mid 1990s -- and Goren will report to Fox Sports Media Group chairman David Hill.

"This reorganization better positions Fox Sports Media Group and Fox Sports for growth right now and in the future," said Hill in a statement. "Ed is one of the most respected, experienced sports television executives in the country and has played a key role in making Fox Sports the industry leader it is today."

Shanks will oversee operations of the Fox Sports Media Group, which includes Fox Sports, 19 regional sports networks, Fox Soccer Channel, Speed, Fox Sports en Español, Fuel TV, Fox Sports Interactive Media and The Big Ten Network.

Shanks, who joined DirecTV in February 2004, is responsible for the creation of several of DirecTV's popular interactive sports services such as the NFL Red Zone Channel - part of the company's exclusive NFL Sunday Ticket subscription package - and NASCAR HotPass. Shanks also was the catalyst behind the launch of DirecTV's on demand service and The 101 Network.

Shanks also oversaw the DirecTV Sports Networks business unit comprised of RSNs in Seattle, Denver and Pittsburgh.

Mike White, president and CEO of DirecTV, said in a statement that Shanks' accomplishment at the satellite service "have left an immensely positive impact on the organization that will resonate for many years to come. We wish him the very best in his new position."

DirecTV will name a successor to Shanks in the coming weeks.

Goren, who has worked with Hill for more than 16 years, will in his new position assist Hill in all aspects of Fox Sports Media Group's business and programming operations, including production, program development, research, marketing and on-air promotion, scheduling and identifying new business opportunities, according to Fox.

Goren, who will retain his position on the Big Ten Network board of directors, over the years has presided over Fox Sports' NFL coverage -- including five Super Bowl telecasts; 15 Major League Baseball seasons, including 12 World Series and 11 All-Star Games; 10 NASCAR campaigns, including eight Daytona 500s; five NHL regular- and postseasons; and four Bowl Championships Series, with three National Championship Games.

"I'm excited to have Eric, whom I recruited from CBS 16 years ago, return to us and succeed me as Fox Sports president," said Goren in a statement. "He's an extremely bright and talented young executive with a 21st century skill set, and I'm looking forward to working with him and with David to maximize and develop all of the networks and websites in the FOX Sports Media Group."

R. Thomas Umstead

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.