Jimmy Pitaro speaking in Bristol. Credit: ESPN

Many assumed that between Aaron Rodgers’ interview on The Pat McAfee Show last Tuesday and Jimmy Kimmel’s response on X threatening legal action, Disney management got involved. Now, new reporting confirms ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro indeed stepped in.

In an interview on Sports Media with Richard Deitsch released Tuesday, longtime ESPN chronicler James Andrew Miller reported that ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro personally called Kimmel to ease tensions over Rodgers alleging connections between Kimmel and convicted sex criminal Jeffrey Epstein.

“Jimmy Pitaro did call Jimmy Kimmel and did a pretty good job, I believe, of talking him down,” Miller said. “The two of them had a really constructive conversation. But the way that that was left, it could have been a terrible situation … if let’s say Jimmy Kimmel decided to send a note to Bob Iger and said, ‘next week, only one of [Kimmel or McAfee] is going to be on the air. You tell me which one of us it’s going to be.'”

But Kimmel did not go that far. Instead, he posted a succinct but clear message on social media making it known to McAfee and everyone at Disney he wouldn’t stand for any more.

Miller said Pitaro spoke with Kimmel after the post on X.

In the days since, McAfee apologized for the interview getting out of hand before turning his sights toward ESPN executive Norby Williamson over a connected issue related to leaked viewership numbers.

Kimmel used his first monologue back on ABC late-night airwaves to go after Rodgers.

Rodgers is expected to return to The Pat McAfee Show on Tuesday for his usual weekly spot. He has already teased a response to Kimmel.

[Sports Media with Richard Deitsch]

About Brendon Kleen

Brendon is a Media Commentary staff writer at Awful Announcing. He has also covered basketball and sports business at Front Office Sports, SB Nation, Uproxx and more.