Bleacher Report CEO Departing

Veteran Turner exec will run popular sports blog

Brian Grey, CEO of Bleacher Report, the highly trafficked sports blog network that Turner bought a year ago, is leaving the company, Turner Sports evp/COO Lenny Daniels said in a memo to staff today.

"As we began planning for 2014 and beyond, Matt Hong and I spent a considerable amount of time with Brian Grey discussing the future structure of Bleacher Report," Daniels said in the memo. "After much consideration and successfully leading B/R through its yearlong transition with Turner, we all agreed that now is the right time for Brian to take a step-back from his role as CEO of B/R and svp of Turner Sports to pursue the next chapter in his professional career. Brian has been a great advocate for Bleacher Report and played a key role in helping to build its business model. I have enjoyed working with Brian and appreciate all of his efforts on behalf of the company."

Going forward, Hong, svp and gm of sports operations at Turner Sports, will run the site, Daniels said. Turner bought Bleacher Report about a year ago, and the site has recently started to prioritize higher-quality video content, especially around the NFL, while hiring a slew of well known journalists.

In a missive of his own, Grey thanked colleagues and reflected on his tenure at the site over the past three years. "First, thank you to the entire Turner and Time Warner team who has been part of bringing B/R into the Turner Sports family, as well as those who we have met post acquisition and who have helped make the integration unfold so successfully," he said.

Of course, it's fairly common for executives to stay through a transition period after a company is acquired, then head for the door to pursue other opportunities.

Read Daniels' note below:

TO:         TURNER SPORTS EMPLOYEES

FROM:   LENNY DANIELS

DATE:    OCTOBER 3, 2013

It has been a little more than a year since Turner Broadcasting acquired Bleacher Report. Like any union, the first year is often the most important as it provides a foundation for the relationship and sets the stage for the future. During our inaugural year together, there have been tremendous strides taken to leverage the core strengths of each business and maximize our opportunities.

The initial results have led to strong momentum and success for Bleacher Report. The brand continues to experience audience growth, while also launching new innovative products, generating new revenue opportunities, and attracting industry-leading writers/reporters to our site. We still have plenty of work ahead and we’ve only scratched the surface of what we collectively can do together for this terrific brand.

As we began planning for 2014 and beyond, Matt Hong and I spent a considerable amount of time with Brian Grey discussing the future structure of Bleacher Report. After much consideration and successfully leading B/R through its yearlong transition with Turner, we all agreed that now is the right time for Brian to take a step-back from his role as CEO of B/R and SVP of Turner Sports to pursue the next chapter in his professional career. Brian has been a great advocate for Bleacher Report and played a key role in helping to build its business model. I have enjoyed working with Brian and appreciate all of his efforts on behalf of the company.

Moving forward, I have asked Matt to lead Bleacher Report in an expansion of his current role and responsibilities. Effective today, Matt adds executive responsibility for B/R to his existing oversight of our division’s sports operations and digital portfolio. From the onset of our initial interest in Bleacher Report, during the acquisition stage and throughout the past year, Matt has been an instrumental figure in leading the integration of the brand into the Turner portfolio.

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