James PitaroLatest News and Opinion
Posted Tuesday 8/21/18 at 10:26PM EDT
President Trump slams ESPN for not broadcasting the National Anthem during Monday Night Football
Source: USA Today
ESPN, like other NFL broadcasters, usually doesn't show the National Anthem before NFL games. But Monday Night Football featured the anthem before three games last season: on the 16th anniversary of the 9/11 attack, when Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones joined his players in kneeling following the president's attack on players kneeling, and following the Las Vegas shooting massacre. On Tuesday night, while speaking at a West Virginia rally, Trump latched on to ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro's announcement last week that Monday Night Football won't show the anthem. “You’re proud of our country, you’re proud of our history, and unlike the NFL, you always honor and cherish our great American flag,” Trump said. “It was just announced by ESPN that rather than defending our anthem, our beautiful, beautiful national anthem and defending our flag, they’ve decided that they just won’t broadcast when they play the national anthem. We don’t like that.”
Posted Friday 8/17/18 at 1:55PM EDT
ESPN won't air the National Anthem during Monday Night Football
Source: NBC Sports
ESPN will avoid the National Anthem kneeling controversy this season by not showing the anthem. ESPN president James Pitaro said at today's media day: "We generally have not broadcasted the anthem and I don't think that will change this year. Our plan going into this year is to not broadcast the anthem .... again that could change. It's unpredictable what could happen in the world but as of now, we're not. We have communicated that back to the NF. They have not asked but as courtesy and good partners we have let them know what our plans are."
Posted Wednesday 6/20/18 at 1:32PM EDT
ESPN is divided by politics: New president says we're not "a political organization"
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
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
Source: SportsBusiness Daily
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."