James PitaroLatest News and Opinion
Posted Wednesday 6/20/18 at 1:32PM EDT
ESPN is divided by politics: New president says we're not "a political organization"
According to The Hollywood Reporter, new ESPN president James Pitaro "is asserting his leadership of ESPN at a time of internal division at the network, which is caught in the crosshairs of the Trump culture wars and the worsening economics of cable TV." The internal divide has pitted "woke" performers like Jemele Hill against the "Bristol tradition." As one executive notes, ESPN is painted as a liberal network when much of the leadership is actually conservative. "The network itself takes a terrific knock for being some kind of pinko lefty operation,” says one executive, adding that ESPN's Bristol headquarters "is not a bastion of liberalism. And it's laughable that that's the perception." Pitaro's mandate has been to calm the waters of the political divide. Upon taking over earlier this year, Pitaro told employees ESPN is not "a political organization. Of course there will be an intersection between sports and politics. We will cover that fairly. But we are focused on serving the sports fan.” ALSO: A black ESPN executive reportedly called Jemele Hill and Michael Smith's "SC6" SportsCenter "too black."
Posted Monday 3/12/18 at 2:09PM EDT
ESPN and NFL have a fractured relationship
The news last month that the NFL would allow Fox to carry the NFL Draft on network TV for the first time was seen as a slap in the face to ESPN, which created the draft as a TV event 38 years ago. Turns out it's part of a bitter battle between the two partners, with the NFL increasingly upset with ESPN's negative journalism coverage of the league. Meanwhile, ESPN is miffed that it has been paying the most money for NFL rights, but receiving the least attractive games for Monday Night Football. Now it's up to new ESPN president James Pitaro to fix that strained relationship.
Posted Friday 3/09/18 at 11:05PM EST
ESPN's choice for new president is raising eyebrows for his less than stellar reputation at Disney
James Pitaro now has one of the toughest jobs after a tenure at Disney that Variety describes as "turbulent."
Posted Monday 3/05/18 at 2:51PM EST
ESPN names new president
James Pitaro, who has been head of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media and a Yahoo Media veteran, succeeds John Skipper, effective immediately. ESPN historian James Andrew Miller says of Pitaro's promotion: "This is as close to an 'in house' selection without being from within current @espn ranks as one could get. Pitaro may not know where all the bathrooms are at Bristol HQ but he knows company's past and current challenges extremely well."