George Bodenheimer, chairman of Disney Media Networks, and President of ESPN Inc. and ABC Sports, in conversation with J. Max Robins at The Paley Center for Media.
George W. Bodenheimer
An ESPN and cable industry pioneer, George Bodenheimer, 46, was named ESPN's fifth President on November 19, 1998. Bodenheimer's path to leadership mirrors that of ESPN itself - with his sharp focus on creativity and cutting-edge innovation, his emphasis on always enhancing value for ESPN's fans and business partners, and his conviction for teamwork. On March 3, 2003, he was also appointed President of ABC Sports, overseeing all the multimedia sports assets of The Walt Disney Company. The role of co-chairman, Disney Media Networks was added on April 20, 2004.
As President of ESPN, Inc., Bodenheimer leads one of the world's premier brands with more than 40 business entities and counting - including seven domestic (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Classic, ESPNEWS, ESPN Deportes, ESPN Today and ESPN Now) and 25 international television networks, ESPN HD, a simulcast service of ESPN in high-definition, ESPN Regional Television, ESPN.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN The Magazine and books, SportsTicker, the ESPN Zones (sports-themed restaurants), and other growing new businesses including ESPN Broadband, ESPN Wireless, ESPN Video-on-Demand, ESPN Interactive and ESPN Pay-Per-View.
As President of ABC Sports, he plans to grow its tradition of excellence. ABC Sports has the most comprehensive sports programming schedule and is the broadcast home of Monday Night Football, the NBA Finals, Stanley Cup, the BCS Championship, World Cup Soccer, British Open, Little League World Series, U.S. and World Figure Skating Championships, the IRL featuring the Indy 500, PGA TOUR and more. ABC Sports is Championship Television.
Bodenheimer, who joined the company in January 1981, had served as Executive Vice President, Sales and Marketing for ESPN since September 1996.
J. Max Robins
J. Max Robins is the vice president and executive director of The Paley Center for Media's Industry Programs. Robins joined the Paley Center from Broadcasting & Cable magazine, where he was editor-in-chief. Before B&C, he was an editor and columnist at TV Guide and Variety.
U.S. entertainment corporation. It was founded by Walt Disney and his brother Roy as Walt Disney Productions in 1929 to incorporate their cartoon animation studio. It produced short and full-length animated cartoons in the 1930s and 1940s, then expanded in the 1950s to make nature documentaries and live-action films as well as television programs. The opening of the amusement parks Disneyland (1955) and Walt Disney World (1971; seeDisney World and Disneyland) strengthened the company's dominance of the family entertainment industry in the U.S. The company declined after Disney's death in 1966 but was revitalized under new management in the 1980s. As the Walt Disney Co. it expanded its production units to include Touchstone Pictures and Miramax, makers of films for more mature audiences, and revitalized its animation division, producing films such as The Little Mermaid (1989) and Toy Story (1995), the first full-length computer-animated film. The company took an active role in reviving and commercializing New York City's Times Square, including the recreation of some of its animated films, such as The Lion King (1994), as Broadway musicals. In 1994 it opened Celebration, a planned community in central Florida. It acquired the ABC television network in 1996 and became the world's largest media and entertainment corporation; it also operates the cable television Disney Channel. See alsoMichael Eisner.