A new game plan at ESPN


NEW YORK -- ESPN on Wednesday announced a broad reorganization of its content division, including the renaming of ESPN Original Entertainment and expanding its reach from only TV to all platforms.

EOE, as it was known, brought to the network original movies like "3," such series as "Playmakers" and "Tilt" as well as the series "Cold Pizza" and "Pardon the Interruption" and the forthcoming eight-part miniseries "The Bronx Is Burning."

ESPN also has named Keith Clinkscales, who joined the sports giant in 2004, as senior vp content development and strategies.

Reporting to Clinkscales will be Ron Semiao, senior vp original events, who will oversee such content as the ESPYs and the X Games. Senior vp Rick Alessandri will continue to focus on the X Games and ESPN's consumer products business. Content development vp Bob Wallace is working on "ESPN Reports" as well as other projects.

Clinkscales said Wednesday that the creative community that works with ESPN to develop shows, movies and miniseries isn't going to see a scaling down of what he called the "phenomenal history" of EOE.

"We're not trying to cease the whole mission of EOE," Clinkscales said. "We're trying to move ahead and have the same kind of results, an incubator for new programming genres and forms and initiatives and develop across all kinds of platforms we've never tried before."

It's too early to tell whether EOE, which hit its stride under former ESPN programming chief Mark Shapiro, would change in terms of the pace of productions of movies and TV shows. But Clinkscales said there won't be any scaling down of ambition.

"It's not that we're going to do less, but we're going to try to use the entirety of our platforms," Clinkscales said. That includes the TV networks, mobile, broadband, radio, podcasts and ESPN the Magazine.

ESPN also announced a new structure for content under executive vp content John Skipper. Reporting to Skipper will be Norby Williamson, executive vp production; John Wildhack, executive vp program acquisitions and strategy; David Berson, executive vp program planning and strategy; John Walsh, executive vp and executive editor; Marie Donoghue, senior vp business affairs and business development; and John Kosner, senior vp and GM of digital media.

Steve Anderson has been named executive vp news, talent and content operations, a move that ESPN said will centralize its news and talent operations. Anderson will manage a new office of talent development, and Vince Doria will be senior vp and director news, in charge of newsgathering across all platforms. Anderson reports to Williamson.

Senior coordinating producer Rob King was promoted to editor-in-chief of ESPN.com, with John Zehr being upped to senior vp digital media production from his previous job of senior vp digital video and mobile products. Both will report to Kosner.