ESPN Apr 16, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; General view of an ESPN microphone before the game between the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

On Monday, ESPN reportedly cut ties with Lee Fitting, the long-tenured senior vice president of production of the company.

OutKick’s Dan Zaksheske first reported that the Worldwide Leader cut ties with the company’s 25-year veteran. Fitting oversaw a host of significant projects and productions on ESPN, including college football and the NFL. Specifically, Monday Night Football and College GameDay. Fitting often posted the locations of College GameDay on Twitter, which always gained serious traction with fans and other onlookers.

Fitting’s exit from the company comes during a tumultuous time for the network. ESPN has dealt with layoffs and decisions to move on from longtime personalities. In recent months, the network has parted ways with Mark Jackson, Jeff Van Gundy, Suzy Kolber, Steve Young, Keyshawn Johnson, and many more.

But Fitting’s exit comes just before a critical time for the network. College football and the NFL are about to begin in September. ESPN decided, though, that parting ways with the longtime overseer of their biggest college sports property just under two weeks before College GameDay debuts is the right call.

It also is a curious decision based on a number of other shakeups that have happened over the last year. There was reported friction between the MNF production crew and talent, specifically ESPN MNF color analyst Troy Aikman. It’s unclear, obviously, if any friction existed between Fitting and people higher up than him and whether those decisions involved him at all. But it is potentially noteworthy, considering it was a significant change made in a department he helped cater to and look after.


About Chris Novak

Chris Novak has been talking and writing about sports ever since he can remember. Previously, Novak wrote for and managed sites in the SB Nation network for nearly a decade from 2013-2022