ESPN Selects A President of Programming and Original Content

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Burke Magnus has been promoted to the role of President/Programming and Original Content at ESPN.


A 26-year ESPN veteran, Magnus previously served as EVP/Programming Acquisitions and Scheduling. It’s a role he has held since May 2015, adding oversight of ESPN’s relationship with BAMTech in June 2017 and of original content in November 2020.

“Burke is a talented leader and collaborative colleague who has been instrumental in guiding ESPN through what has undoubtedly been one of the most challenging and critical periods in our history,” Jimmy Pitaro, Chairman for ESPN and Sports Content, said. “He is an industry-leading programming strategist who continues to take on new challenges with his signature combination of relationship building and creativity.”

Magnus is responsible for all programming and rights acquisition and scheduling, as well as ESPN and ESPN+ original content development and scheduling (including ESPN Films and 30 for 30 franchise). In his role, Magnus is responsible for rightsholder relationships, content strategy and cross-platform programming rights acquisition/scheduling on a global basis. He is a key driver of Disney’s Direct-to-Consumer priority, including ESPN+, through his team’s close collaboration with DMED (Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution).

In late 2020 and 2021, he guided ESPN and The Walt Disney Company through one of its most active and notable sports rights acquisition periods. He helped drive new, cross-platform (linear, direct-to-consumer, digital, social, etc.) agreements and/or extensions with the NFL, MLB, NHL, SEC, LaLiga and more. Additionally, he led a programming team that collaborated with numerous league, conference and event partners to navigate the postponement, cancellation and rescheduling of thousands of events across ESPN platforms in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Previous agreements forged during Magnus’ time as executive vice president include the NBA, the Masters and PGA Championship, UFC, the German Bundesliga, and more.

Magnus previously served as SVP/Programming and Acquisitions (January 2014 – May 2015).

Magnus joined ESPN in 1995 as a program associate and in 1996 was promoted to program planner.

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