New roles for Bodenheimer, Skipper

BURBANK, Calif. -- George Bodenheimer has been named executive chairman of ESPN, and John Skipper will replace him as president of the network and co-chair of Disney Media Networks.

The announcement was made Tuesday by Bob Iger, the president and chief executive officer of the Walt Disney Company.

"With George's continued presence, John's experience and vision and an executive management team and workforce that are unparalleled in the sports media business, ESPN is extremely well positioned for continued success," Iger said in a statement.

Bodenheimer will relinquish his day-to-day operating responsibilities as president of ESPN, his role for the last 13 years, on Jan. 1. As executive chairman, he will continue to chair ESPN's board of directors, provide strategic direction and support the transition to Skipper, who will assume day-to-day operating responsibilities also on Jan. 1.

"I've been with ESPN 31 years -- my entire professional career. Constant change and consistent growth have marked each of those years, and to me those two themes underscore today's news," Bodenheimer said in a statement. "After 13 years as president, I felt it was a good time to step away from the day to day management of ESPN and let others take the lead. I very much appreciate Bob's support over the years, and look forward to my future role with ESPN."

Skipper, who joined ESPN in June 1997 as senior vice president and general manager of ESPN The Magazine, has served as ESPN's executive vice president of content since October 2005. Previously, he was senior vice president of The Disney Publishing Group, overseeing all of Disney's magazine, book and licensed publishing operations in the United States.

"I am humbled and excited to be given the opportunity by Bob and George to lead this terrific company," Skipper said. "George set a high bar and an impeccable example, and I will dedicate all of my energy to follow George's lead in both empowering and supporting my 7,000 ESPN colleagues who do such great work every day."