ESPN (NYSE: DIS) and Turner Sports have both made two fairly significant personnel moves this morning designed to tighten the relationship between the traditional and digital media arms of their respective businesses. ESPN’s digital and print media operations have been consolidated under John Kosner, while on Jon Kropp has been named to the newly-created role of vice president of business operations for the Turner Sports golf portfolio.
Kosner will oversee ESPN The Magazine, the ESPN Rise high school publications and women’s sports content initiative espnW, as SVP of ESPN Digital and Print Media.
As part of the change, Rob King, most recently VP and editor-in-chief for Digital Media, will become VP, Editorial, Digital and Print Media. The role calls for King to head the editorial content of those initiatives while continuing to report to Kosner. Patrick Stiegman, formerly ESPN.com Executive Editor, is now ESPN.com’s EIC. Stiegman and Chad Millman, who was recently named EIX of ESPN The Magazine, will both report to King.
Over at Turner, Kropp will manage all of the the broadcaster’s golf digital businesses, which include GOLF.com, PGATOUR.COM and PGA.com. He’ll also serve as the point person the sales and content relationship with *Yahoo* Sports Golf. A 14-year Turner Sports veteran, Kropp most recently served as VP, strategy and acquisitions for the unit.
The changes reflect the need to better integrate and coordinate digital, print and broadcasting at the two different sports holdings. That need has been true for a while, but the rise of mobility and tablet devices has brought all those different media formats closer together. As media consumption across different platforms becomes a more seamless and complementary experience, there needs to be single executives who can balance and match coverage in a similarly uniform way. The big challenge, of course, is doing so without appearing too offer too many gimmicks or causing too much confusion in the content strategy as companies stretch to make its programming fit the disparate categories of print, broadcast, online and mobile.