ESPN has a new president.
James Pitaro, a long-time executive at ESPN’s parent company, Disney, will take over the role, Disney announced Monday. He will also serve as co-chair of Disney Media Networks. The change will take effect immediately.
Pitaro previously served as chairman of Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media.
“As a passionate and lifelong sports fan, I am honored to be joining the ESPN team during such a pivotal time in its storied history,” Pitaro said in a statement.
In December, longtime ESPN President John Skipper resigned from his position, citing a substance addiction.
Skipper, who joined ESPN in 1997, was one of the most powerful people in both the media and sports worlds. He managed ESPN’s hugely profitable portfolio at a time of tremendous stress on the cable business and oversaw the decline of the business.
Pitaro takes over at a pivotal time for ESPN.
In the past few years, ESPN has laid off hundreds of employees as it battles against declining viewership. The company has been hit hard by a decline in cable subscribers and it has scrambled to adapt as people increasingly consume media on their phones and online.
The sports network is also about to launch a new subscription streaming service ESPN+, which will offer live sporting events for a monthly rate of $4.99.
Disney recently acquired most of 21st Century Fox. That deal will bring 22 regional sports networks previously owned by Fox under ESPN’s control.
This is a developing story and will be updated.