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Disney hires James Pitaro as new ESPN president

Jimmy Pitaro speaks at Disney Infinity 2.0 launch

Jimmy Pitaro speaks at Disney Infinity 2.0 launch at Pacific Theatres Cinerama Dome on Wednesday, April 30, 2014 in Los Angeles. Credit: Invision/ AP / Katy Winn

The Walt Disney Co. has stayed inside the family to choose consumer products chief James Pitaro as the new ESPN president.

Pitaro replaces John Skipper, who resigned suddenly in December to deal with a substance abuse problem. Pitaro takes over a wide-ranging sports network that is fighting back against cord cutters and is about to launch a new streaming service together with an all-encompassing new app.

Pitaro has been chairman of Disney’s consumer products and interactive media since 2016. Before joining Disney, he helped build Yahoo Sports into a widely used online service.

Disney Chairman Robert Iger said Pitaro forged his career at the intersection of technology, sports and the media.

Pitaro described himself as a “passionate and lifelong sports fan.”

New York Sports