Silverman, currently leader of the Big Ten Network, a joint venture of Fox Sports and the Big Ten Conference, was named president of national networks at Fox Sports, giving him oversight of all programming, production, marketing, and digital for Fox, Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 2 live events and studio shows. He will also retain his current responsibilities at BTN. He will start his new job on January 16.
“Mark is an excellent, creative executive who has been in the FOX Sports family for over 11 years with great success,” said Eric Shanks, president and executive producer at Fox Sports. “We couldn’t be more thrilled he has chosen to take this new role on our team.”
Silverman is essentially filling the role previously held by Jamie Horowitz, a celebrated sports executive whose legacy at Fox Sports is a parade of so-called “hot talk” studio shows, where lively debate, not play by play, is the order of the day. Fox Sports fired Horowitz. a veteran ESPN executive who briefly joined NBC News to supervise its “Today” morning franchise, in July of last year, in the wake of an investigation into a claim of sexual harassment. During his time at Fox Sports, Horowitz wooed Skip Bayless (above, pictured), Colin Cowherd and Jason Whitlock from ESPN and gave them lead roles with opinion shows.
Silverman has overseen all aspects of Big Ten Network since its inception in 2007. The network has more 60 million subscribers in the United States and Canada. Under Silverman’s leadership, BTN has developed digital media offerings such as BTN2Go and BTN Plus. Under his aegis. BTN has notched two Emmy nominations for “The Journey: Big Ten Basketball,” and an Edward R. Murrow Award in the category of video sports reporting.
He began his media career in the entertainment industry at The Walt Disney Company, where he held a number of executive positions during his 13-year tenure, principally in the television and movie studio divisions. Prior to joining BTN, Silverman served as Senior Vice President and General Manager of the ABC Cable Networks Group. He also previously served as Senior Vice President and General Manager, ABC Family Channel. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Michigan. He and his family will relocate to Los Angeles.