Most fans understandably do not know or care who John Skipper is, but as of Jan. 1 he will be among the handful of most powerful people in sports, if not No. 1 on that list.
Such is the status of ESPN president, the job Skipper will assume after George Bodenheimer gives up day-to-day control of the network after 13 years.
Skipper is expected mostly to say the course set by Bodenheimer, but he has a far different background.
Bodenheimer was a salesman; Skipper rose from print journalism, including at Rolling Stone and Spin magazines.
Also unlike Bodenheimer, a low-key figure who is cautious around reporters, Skipper is glib, open and in his element when speaking to journalists.
He also is a bit of an outlier in a business dominated by Northeasterners. He is from North Carolina, and sounds it. He is a passionate soccer fan, particularly of Tottenham of the English Premier League.
After joining ESPN the Magazine for its launch in 1997, Skipper assumed control of all ESPN content in 2005.