ESPN Finds New Ombudsman But Changes Position’s Title

By Brian Flood Comment

ESPN has a new ombudsman, but the official title has been changed to public editor. Jim Brady will start the new role Nov. 15 and will serve an 18-month term. Brady is the CEO of Spirited Media and won multiple honors including a national Emmy, four Edward R. Murrow Awards and a Peabody for his work as executive editor of WashingingPost.com.

ESPN says Brady will offer independent examination, critique and analysis of ESPN’s programming and news coverage on TV, digital, print, audio and other media. Brady’s role will include written pieces on ESPN.com, podcasts and use of social media, with additional timely responses as issues arise.

“In these transcendent times for media, ESPN is serving more fans across more platforms and more devices in more global locations than ever before,” ESPN vp, editorial director and editorial board chairman Patrick Stiegman said. “We are proud of our commitment to the ombudsman role over the past decade, and believe those who have occupied that chair have mutually benefitted fans and ESPN.”

Stiegman went on to say, “We are updating the title to ‘public editor’ to better reflect the goal of transparency and advocacy for fans, especially in this increasingly multimedia world.”

Brady is the sixth ombudsmen/public editor in ESPN’s history, following George Solomon (2005-07), Le Anne Schreiber (2007-2008), Don Ohlmeyer (2009-2010), The Poynter Institute (2011-2012) and Robert Lipsyte (2013-2014).

“To me, ESPN has always been one of the most fascinating media companies on the planet,” said Brady. “Whether it’s managing extremely complicated relationships with professional leagues, trying to stay ahead of its ever-growing list of competitors or adapting its business in an ever-changing media landscape, ESPN faces fascinating challenges. This made serving as public editor too good an opportunity to pass up. I look forward to getting started.”

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