James Pitaro
Joe Faraoni/ ESPN Images
United States




Named ESPN’s president in 2018, Pitaro is charged with leading the nation’s largest sports-media outlet through a transformative era. He supervised the launch of direct-to-consumer subscription service ESPN Plus, which drew two million subscribers in its first year. Pitaro is eager to cultivate younger viewers by securing rights deals for boxing and mixed martial arts and testing alternate viewing experiences through digital platforms. Under his aegis, ESPN aims to move forward on several fronts: launching subscription channel ACC Network, moving some daytime programming to New York and growing the online and app audience — particularly after experiencing some erosion in cable subscribers in recent years. In 2019, the network’s coverage of the Larry Nassar trial and impactful sentencing earned it a Peabody Award. 


  • ESPN
  • Yahoo!
  • Disney Interactive


  • Cornell University (NY, USA)
  • Saint John's University (NY, USA)

Variety Honors

  • 2018 Variety500 Honoree
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News from Variety

Disney Names James Pitaro to Head ESPN

Disney Names James Pitaro to Head ESPN

Walt Disney named James Pitaro, who had been leading its consumer-products and digital divisions, to oversee ESPN, placing an executive with years of experience in digital media atop one of its most lucrative and best-known assets. He will also serve as co-chair of the company's TV operations.Pitaro will immediately find himself navigating a wide array of challenges aimed at keeping the sports-media juggernaut known as "The Worldwide Leader in Sports" in that exact position. While ESPN remains a top performer...


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