ESPN Has A New (And Famous) Ombudsman

The elegant reign of LeAnne Schreiber ended a few months ago, but ESPN wasted no time in finding a replacement. The “Leader” has tabbed, legendary TV Exec Don Ohlmeyer to fill the position, and will be starting his new job in August. Via ESPN PR….

Don Ohlmeyer, one of television’s most successful and honored innovators as a producer and programmer in both sports and entertainment television, has been appointed as ESPN’s third ombudsman. He will begin an 18-month term in August, offering independent examination, critique and analysis of ESPN.

“Few people on the planet could bring to the role of ESPN ombudsman more credentials, intelligence, a track record of success and the fearlessness to speak his mind than Don Ohlmeyer,” said John A. Walsh, ESPN executive vice president and executive editor. “He is a noted maverick in the industry with a vast understanding of media, and we look forward to his contributions.” Once a month, he will share his thoughts via a column on ESPN.com. Ohlmeyer succeeds Le Anne Schreiber, a former New York Times sports editor-turned author, whose term recently expired. George Solomon, former sports editor of the Washington Post for almost three decades, was ESPN’s first ombudsman, 2005 – 2007.

It seems like a great hire on the surface, and while hiring Ohlmeyer is certainly a splash, you can’t help but remember some of his more famous hires for Monday Night Football. Namely one, Dennis Miller. Ohlmeyer has also served as a board member for ESPN in the past, and has served as executive producer on a handful of films (Under Seige!).

His credentials are obviously there, and while I would have rather ESPN hire someone who wasn’t once on their board, he’ll certainly know what he’s talking about.

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