Willy Burkhardt to leave ESPN International

Willy Burkhardt has announced his decision to leave ESPN later this month. As executive V-P, he led ESPNs international efforts and its Enterprises division since 1999. Russell Wolff, senior vice president, ESPN International, has been promoted to managing director and will lead ESPN International going forward. 

At ESPN, Burkhardt led a number of initiatives that enhanced the ESPN brand internationally, including numerous network launches, the global expansion of the SportsCenter franchise, an official release states. He also led the growth of the companys joint venture in the Asian region ESPN Star Sports. He implemented important projects with ESPN Enterprises such as the opening of ESPNs first large format film "ESPNs Ultimate X". Burkhardt will continue to consult with ESPN on international matters for the remainder of the year. Burkhardt said that he would pause for some personal time and travel and to explore other professional challenges.

In his new position as managing director, Wolff will assume full responsibility for all of ESPNs international businesses, which include partial or whole ownership of 24 networks televised outside of the United States to more than 150 countries and territories.

Wolff will directly oversee all aspects of ESPN Internationals networks in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and the Pacific Rim, including programming, production, marketing, sales, and worldwide program syndication. In addition, he will oversee ESPNs interests in a variety of international joint ventures including ESPN Star Sports in Asia, ESPN Classic Sport in Europe, CTV Specialty Television, Inc. in Canada, and Sports-i ESPN in Japan. 

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