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Exec shuffle at ESPN

Williamson, Wildhack shift responsibilities under Skipper

Now that ESPN’s John Skipper has officially begun his presidency of the behemoth sports cabler, the net is undergoing a handful of exec shuffles.

The biggest move is a job transfer of responsibilities between Norby Williamson and John Wildhack. Williamson, who has been with ESPN since 1985, will become the exec VP of programming and acquisitions while Wildhack shifts to exec VP of production.

Williamson will oversee all rights negotiations and manage relationships with rights holders for all ESPN entities. Wildhack, an ESPN vet since 1980, has had a series of production posts during his first 14 years at ESPN before shifting to programming.

Skipper, who was named to replace outgoing prexy George Bodenheimer last year, has long put an emphasis on live events as part of the cabler’s programming strategy. ESPN, like NBC, CBS and Fox, recently renewed its deal with the NFL, but the net recently lost the rights to the World Cup to Fox. That was a tough loss for Skipper, who is a huge proponent of both soccer and international coverage.

ESPN, however, recently did take the rights to Wimbledon away from NBC and the net is the home to college football’s BCS championship game.

In other moves, John Kosner has been promoted to exec VP of digital and print media. Net sees plenty of potential on the digital side in the years ahead.

Also, Marie Donoghue will now become senior VP of global strategy, business development and business affairs.

All will report to Skipper.