Marie Donoghue at Amazon. Marie Donoghue at Prime Video. (Amazon photo, via Boardroom.)

One of the most prominent executives in sports media is on the move. Andrew Marchand of The New York Post reported Thursday that Marie Donoghue, vice president of global sports video at Amazon’s Prime Video, is leaving that role:

Donoghue joined Amazon in 2018 following a 1999-2017 run at ESPN, which saw her oversee content initiatives including ESPN Films, 30 for 30, Grantland, FiveThirtyEight, and The Undefeated (now Andscape). At the tech company, she came in under former Sports Illustrated/120 Sports executive Jim DeLorenzo, who was Amazon’s head of sports at that time. DeLorenzo left to head Apple’s global sports in 2020 and was replaced by long-time Amazon executive Jay Marine, who took the title of vice president, Prime Video and global head of sports in November 2021.

Donoghue proved to be a notable number-two sports executive under both DeLorenzo and Marine. She played important roles in first Prime Video’s alternate feeds for Thursday Night Football (back when they only had non-exclusive streaming rights) and then their full-on exclusive production beginning last year. And that exclusive production has won some notable plaudits, especially for their pregame/halftime/postgame crew with its combination of proven veteran analyst Tony Gonzalez, recently-retired figures Andrew Whitworth, Richard Sherman, and Ryan Fitzpatrick, and Charissa Thompson as host. On a media call in 2022, Thompson gave Donoghue much of the credit for assembling that cast:

“It’s not my job to assemble the cast, that’s Marie’s department. But to Tony’s previous point, if I got my say in it, this is definitely the group I’d want to have. I do think it’s, in my tenure being on a NFL desk, it’s a quarterback-driven league, and you’ve got to have that on the desk. And you always want some perspective on the defensive side of the ball. And as per Tony’s credentials, they speak for themselves. It’s nice if you can get all of that. I can’t ask for a better group. …If our text chain is any indication of what the show will be like, it won’t be boring.”

Donoghue has also been cited as a key figure in hiring talent like Taylor Rooks and boosting Prime Video’s sports portfolio with documentaries such as Kelce, Bye Bye BarryReggie, Rowdy and more. And her time at ESPN gave her notable relationships with league officials, and that’s been mentioned in Amazon’s quest to grow their live sports rights portfolio. Here’s part of what John Ourand wrote on Donoghue and Marine in a “Most Influential” writeup in December (one of many for her):

Expect Amazon to remain aggressive when U.S. rights become available, including for the NBA, which has deals with ESPN and Warner Bros. Discovery Sports that run through the 2024-25 season. Amazon already has a WNBA deal and acts as a third-party seller of NBA TV.

“When disruption meets innovation, there will be opportunities,” Donoghue said. “You’re going to see that in the U.S. in a bunch of different areas.”

But now, Donoghue’s own innovation will be coming somewhere else. It will be interesting to see where she lands, and interesting to see where Prime Video’s sports programming goes after her.

[Andrew Marchand on Twitter]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.