Dave Finocchio, one of Bleacher Report’s founders, is leaving the company in June. Finocchio has served as the company’s CEO since his return in 2016. Prior to that, he was a driving force behind Bleacher Report’s creation back in 2005, and led the company from then until its sale to Turner in 2012.
Finocchio will be replaced by current Bleacher Report chief revenue officer Howard Mittman, who was a longtime Conde Nast exec overseeing men’s publications like Golf Digest before joining B/R in his current role in 2017.
In a memo to his staff, Finocchio says he’ll leave in June and doesn’t say what he’ll be doing next. “I view life as a collection of experiences, and though BR might very well be the most incredible journey I’ll ever go on, I want to have some others.”
Bleacher Report has become an important asset for Turner, which is now owned by AT&T, and a rare example of a digital property thriving after being acquired by an old media company. It’s probably best known today for House of Highlights, an Instagram account that shows highlights, bloopers, and other video ephemera to more than 11 million followers.
Finocchio is one of the first high-profile executives to leave the company formerly known as Time Warner after AT&T bought the company last year, though it seems Finocchio would have moved on from the company at some point, regardless of who his corporate owner is.
Recode has the entire memo. As for Mittman, he takes over a company that’s a far cry from where it started, as Ourand noted:
Mittman will be based in N.Y. and report to Turner Sports COO Matt Hong. He had been B/R CRO & CMO. Prior to joining B/R, Mittman served as Chief Business Officer for Conde Nast’s men’s group, which included Golf World and Golf Digest.
Finocchio and three of his high-school friends founded Bleacher Report in ’05. The group embraced a “content farm” model, chasing page views with poor-quality editorial from low-paid writers with little editorial direction. Turner bought the site in ’12 for $175M and kept Finocchio as its CEO. Since then, B/R has hired higher quality writers and expanded into video, in part, through its ’15 purchase of “House of Highlights” and its ’18 launch of the B/R Live direct-to-consumer service.
Finocchio mentioned in his memo that he also plans to hire a chief content officer before he exits, meaning the leadership of the company will look a lot different in June.