Before Jamie Horowitz took over the Fox Sports Digital operation and forced his vision on the department, the Fox Sports website was led by Mark Pesavento and Mike Foss, two experts in digital media who had contributed to the growth of USA Today’s For the Win site.

But—as chronicled Tuesday in our story about’s dramatic Horowitz-ization—Pesavento and Foss soon lost sway as Fox deemphasized written online content, and both eventually wound up jobless.

Well on Tuesday, a day after the Fox Sports Digital operation was officially torn apart, Foss found a new job at ESPN, where he’ll reportedly oversee the network’s social media presence and YouTube channel.

Foss originally arrived at Fox in 2015 from USA Today, where he served as managing editor of FTW, a highly successful viral news hub. His arrival, along with Pesavento’s, was part of Fox’s plan to enhance its digital presence by emphasizing social media and quick-hit news.

Here’s how our Ben Koo sums up the Pesavento-Foss era at Fox:

Pesavento and Foss had their work cut out for them and were forced to hit the ground running as the digital operation was facing a lot of scrutiny due to the huge financial losses. Content costs were too high and monetization performance for the site was known by many to be abysmal. The pair caused a bit of a stir initially, slimming down the editorial operation with a significant round of layoffs. With content costs down and traffic growing, and Fox Sports mirroring the social news strategy that had been successful at FTW, the economics of the business were improving. But ad sales continued to be a major pain-point, with Fox bringing in only a fraction of what other comparable sites were making, according to some sources.

But Foss’ time at Fox did not last long. Barely 18 months after being hired there, he quit amid Horowitz’s takever.

Foss announced his departure in June with a tweet that could be read as a shot at the debate-centric model that has flourished at Fox in recent months.

So Foss moves on to ESPN, where he’ll try to bring some of the results he produced at FTW, without any of the drama he encountered at Fox.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.