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Connor Schell, ESPN’s former executive vp of content, is launching a new unscripted content studio backed by Peter Chernin’s Chernin Entertainment.
Schell will serve as CEO of the still-unnamed studio which will “produce high quality, culturally relevant, non-fiction storytelling both inside and outside of the sports world,” per the company.
Chernin Entertainment is the sole investor in the studio, with Chernin and his partner Jesse Jacobs spearheading the deal. Chernin Entertainment president Jenno Topping will oversee the collaboration between Schell’s studio and the rest of Chernin Entertainment’s portfolio.
A longtime ESPN veteran, Schell in his career at the venerable cable sports channel oversaw the SportsCenter franchise, served as ep of the ESPYs, and most recently oversaw and produced some of ESPN’s award-winning documentaries, including O.J.: Made In America, and last year’s The Last Dance.
He left ESPN last November amid a restructuring that saw parent company Disney cut 500 positions from the sports behemoth. At the time he said he would continue to work with ESPN on its 30 for 30 doc franchise, as well as the ESPYs.
“Connor is by far one of the most prolific and talented producers of nonfiction storytelling and brings us a track record and instinct for creating culturally resonant and commercially viable content at a time when demand is high, and supply is low,” said Chernin in a statement. “The opportunities to make a difference and reach audiences with important stories are endless.”
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