As RBR+TVBR first reported in December 2021, Craig Karmazin-led Good Karma Brands agreed to pay $15 million to The Walt Disney Company for WEPN-AM 1050 in New York, KSPN-AM 710 in Los Angeles and two-year LMA partner WMVP-AM 1000 in Chicago. Additionally, it is acquiring Disney’s LMA agreement with Emmis Communications that has allowed WEPN to simulcast on 98.7 MHz in New York.
Now, GKB has revealed who will lead the New York and L.A. stations under new ownership.
Sam Pines, Senior Vice President of GKB, will be ESPN Los Angeles’ Market Manager.
Former ESPN Audio Senior Director of Sales Vinny DiMarco has joined GKB and will serve as ESPN New York Market Manager.
“I couldn’t be more excited to have both Sam and Vinny in their respective roles,” said Craig Karmazin (pictured, top left), the founder and CEO of Milwaukee-based Good Karma Brands. “Sam has distinguished himself as a leader both inside and outside the company, and will bring creativity and take a relationship-focused and marketing savvy approach to ESPN Los Angeles. Vinny’s background at ESPN New York and his relationships within New York City and throughout both Good Karma and ESPN make him a well-liked and respected leader who will keep teammates, advertising partners and our fans at the forefront of all that we do and achieve.”
Pines joined Good Karma Brands in 2000. Since 2006, he has led ESPN Cleveland as a Market Manager and Sales Manager.
“I’m excited to be part of the team at ESPN 710,” Pines said. “It’s rare that an opportunity comes along where we can invest our resources in a place that has such a well-established foundation of great local sports talk, significant play by play rights, including the 18-time champion Lakers, the Super Bowl Champion Rams, LAFC and the Angels, and the power and reach of ESPN’s digital assets. I’m looking forward to bringing a marketing-first approach to working with advertisers to such a great city and sports community.”
At ESPN, DiMarco managed multi-market, multi-platform sales across ESPN radio affiliates, and oversaw emerging categories, including sports betting and crypto-currency. He started his ESPN career at ESPN New York as GSM.
“After working closely with GKB for so many years, inside Disney/ESPN, I’m thrilled to join the team and return to my roots in the local NY market,” DiMarco said. “98.7 ESPN and 1050 ESPN’s collection of assets is second to none. Our on-air talent is among the best in the business, and they resonate with every NY sports fan. Add to that our play-by-play partnerships with the Jets, Knicks, Rangers and Islanders and you have some of the most compelling content in all of Sports. For our advertising partners, our multi-channel offerings, including ESPN Digital media, provide impactful marketing opportunities with best-in-class service and execution. I’m very excited for the future of ESPN New York and our partners.”