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ESPN US to focus more on content, technology, intl business with restructuring

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MUMBAI: ESPN US and ABC Sports president George Bodenheimer has announced the reorganisation of ESPN's business functions and executive management into six specific areas.

The aim is to pursue the company's primary mission to serve sports fans and for future growth in the areas of content, technology, sales and marketing, the international arena, finance and administration.

The executive management team reporting to Bodenheimer includes John Skipper, who has been promoted to executive VP content; Chuck Pagano whos is now executive VP technology; Sean Bratches who is executive VP sales and marketing. Christine Driessen continues to serve as ESPN executive VP and CFO. Ed Durso contnues to be ESPN executive VP, administration; and Russell Wolff stays in his position as ESPN Intl executive VP and MD.

Bodenheimer says, "Changes in our management ranks presented an opportunity to redefine our structure. Aggregating all our creative energies in one division; placing all sales and marketing in one area to sell our growing menu of services; consolidating oversight of all technology; and affirming the centralised management of all international businesses are powerful statements. I am excited about the prospects of this realignment and the people leading these areas. Not only does this reaffirm ESPN as the leading sports media entity, it will strengthen our commitment to serving sports fans."

Skipper will now oversee content in all its forms for all ESPN and ABC Sports television, radio, Internet, publishing, wireless, broadband and Enterprises operations. Skipper joined ESPN in June 1997 after several years in the publishing business, including the Disney Publishing Group, which he joined in 1990. He oversaw one of the most successful magazine launches, ESPN The Magazine in March 1998.

Wolff, along with the support of Driessen, has led initiatives around the world increasing the financial success of ESPN's international operations. Wolff, who joined ESPN in 1997 managing ESPN's business interests in the Pacific Rim, is responsible for all of ESPN's international business initiatives across television, radio, publishing, wireless, broadband, and ESPN Enterprises operations.

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