ESPN president resigns, citing substance addiction

ESPN president John Skipper resigned on Monday, citing a substance addiction."I have struggled for many years ...

Posted: Dec 19, 2017 6:31 AM
Updated: Dec 19, 2017 6:31 AM

ESPN president John Skipper resigned on Monday, citing a substance addiction.

"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction," Skipper said in a statement. "I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem."

He went on to say, "I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down."

The resignation takes effect immediately. In a farewell email to staffers, Skipper said, "It has been my absolute privilege to serve as president of ESPN."

Skipper was one of the most powerful people in both the media and sports worlds and managed ESPN's hugely profitable portfolio at a time of tremendous stress on the cable business.

Related: ESPN staffers shocked, saddened by John Skipper's resignation

ESPN and other major media companies have scrambled to adapt as people increasingly consume media on their phones and online.

Skipper notified Bob Iger, the CEO of Disney, ESPN's parent company, within the past few days, according to an ESPN source with direct knowledge of the situation.

"I join John Skipper's many friends and colleagues across the company in wishing him well during this challenging time," Iger said in a statement. "I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family."

The source said the announcement was solely because of addiction, not related to last week's announcement that Disney would acquire most of 21st Century Fox. That deal would bring 22 regional sports networks previously owned by Fox under ESPN's control.

Related: ESPN chief John Skipper gets contract extension

Skipper joined ESPN in 1997 and became president of the network in 2012. His tenure has included enormous growth for the network, but it faces the increasing challenge of declining subscribers as people quit cable.

The resignation comes one month after Skipper's contract renewal was made public. The contract was extended through 2021, according to a source familiar with the deal. Asked why Skipper was stepping down now, the source said, "Addiction doesn't follow neat and orderly lines."

Skipper also resigned from his role as co-chairman of the Disney Media Network.

George Bodenheimer, who served as president of the network from 1998 to 2011, will take over as acting chair of ESPN for 90 days and help Iger find a replacement.

"I have great respect for John's leadership, and I applaud the courage he's demonstrating by addressing his challenge head on," Bodenheimer said in a statement. "The most important thing right now for John and his family is that he conquers his addiction, and the entire ESPN family is behind him."

Minnesota Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 26980

Reported Deaths: 1159
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Hennepin9099657
Ramsey3351149
Stearns205614
Nobles15775
Anoka152779
Dakota144664
Washington70035
Olmsted68911
Rice5243
Kandiyohi5141
Scott4712
Clay44930
Mower4462
Wright3492
Todd3441
Sherburne2492
Carver2402
Benton1853
Steele1700
Freeborn1590
Blue Earth1490
Martin1355
St. Louis11914
Lyon1012
Unassigned9611
Pine930
Nicollet8811
Cottonwood820
Winona8115
Crow Wing815
Watonwan790
Carlton750
Goodhue736
Otter Tail731
Chisago691
Polk632
Itasca5610
Dodge540
Chippewa521
Morrison480
Le Sueur471
Douglas460
Meeker460
Becker440
Jackson420
Murray410
McLeod410
Isanti360
Pennington300
Waseca290
Mille Lacs241
Rock230
Faribault220
Wabasha200
Swift191
Beltrami180
Sibley170
Brown172
Fillmore171
Norman150
Pipestone130
Kanabec121
Aitkin120
Marshall120
Cass112
Big Stone110
Wilkin113
Wadena100
Pope100
Koochiching90
Redwood70
Yellow Medicine70
Renville70
Mahnomen61
Lincoln60
Red Lake40
Traverse40
Grant40
Clearwater30
Houston30
Hubbard30
Lac qui Parle30
Roseau30
Stevens10
Lake10
Kittson10

Iowa Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 21114

Reported Deaths: 593
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Polk4614140
Woodbury286137
Black Hawk178849
Buena Vista10672
Linn97879
Dallas95226
Marshall91418
Wapello63615
Johnson6198
Muscatine56741
Crawford5512
Tama41129
Scott38510
Dubuque35921
Louisa35011
Pottawattamie31910
Sioux3060
Jasper26917
Wright2210
Washington1968
Warren1671
Plymouth1522
Story1311
Allamakee1204
Mahaska9913
Poweshiek928
Hamilton760
Webster741
Henry732
Boone720
Bremer716
Clarke690
Des Moines681
Taylor660
Clinton651
Guthrie553
Cedar501
Benton431
Cherokee410
Monroe415
Jones370
Shelby370
Osceola360
Jefferson360
Marion350
Dickinson350
Buchanan341
Iowa340
Clayton343
Cerro Gordo331
Madison292
Lee290
Sac280
Davis280
Emmet270
Fayette270
Clay270
Monona260
Harrison260
Hardin240
Lyon240
Winneshiek240
Lucas222
Mills200
Grundy200
Franklin200
Humboldt201
Pocahontas200
Delaware191
Floyd191
Hancock180
Appanoose173
Butler161
Kossuth160
Carroll151
Ida150
Greene150
Keokuk140
Jackson140
Page140
Audubon131
Cass130
Chickasaw130
Howard120
Winnebago110
Calhoun100
Union100
Van Buren90
Adair90
Montgomery92
Adams70
Palo Alto70
Ringgold40
Fremont40
Mitchell40
Worth30
Unassigned20
Wayne10
Decatur10
Rochester
Few Clouds
77° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 61°
Feels Like: 78°
Mason City
Scattered Clouds
82° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 82°
Albert Lea
Broken Clouds
81° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 81°
Austin
Broken Clouds
79° wxIcon
Hi: 81° Lo: 65°
Feels Like: 79°
Charles City
Clear
81° wxIcon
Hi: 82° Lo: 62°
Feels Like: 81°
Weekend looks nice
KIMT Radar
KIMT Eye in the sky

Latest Video

Image

Chris' PM Weather Forecast 6/5

Image

Gyms, fitness centers set to reopen

Image

Easing restrictions for MN restaurants and gyms

Image

Charles City vigil for George Floyd

Image

Hawkeye Harvest Foodbank partnership

Image

Next phase of Minnesota reopening

Image

Rental Assistance program for Rochester

Image

IA Care Homes Could Reopen to Visitors

Image

'Color Me Mine' Location Closes for Good

Image

Getting Your Fair Food Fix During the Pandemic

Community Events