Burke Magnus, the ESPN executive that oversees negotiations over the rights to big league shows and other top sports content, has been named president of programming and original content for sports media giant Walt Disney.
The move reflects the new role Magnus has taken on following the departure of Connor Schell, who previously served as ESPN’s primary content manager. Magnus was already overseeing the scheduling and scheduling of acquisitions. As of November, however, he’s been responsible for all original content development on ESPN and its ESPN Plus streaming service – tasks that include responsibility for ESPN Films and the company’s “30 for 30” documentary franchise. Magnus will continue to report to Jimmy Pitaro, President of ESPN.
“Burke is a talented leader and collaborative colleague who has helped guide ESPN through what has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult and critical times in our history,” Pitaro said in a statement. “He is a leading programming strategist who continues to take on new challenges with his signature combination of relationship building and creativity. “
Magnus has had a busy few months. He was one of the executives who had to help ESPN scramble to fill their schedule when the recent coronavirus pandemic forced most live sports broadcasts to shut down. He also helped negotiate new rights deals with the NFL, MLB, NHL, SEC, and La Liga.
The executive joined ESPN in 1995 as a program associate and has held various positions in the programming department since. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross with a bachelor’s degree in history and went on to obtain his master’s degree in sports management from the University of Massachusetts.