Approximately one year after becoming the NFL’s president of digital media and NFL Network, Mary Anne Turcke is moving up. Turcke will become the chief operating officer, replacing Tod Leiweke.
Prior to joining the NFL, Turcke was the president of Canada’s Bell Media. She held that position for nearly two years after working at Bell since 2005. As reported by SportsBusiness Daily’s John Ourand and Daniel Kaplan, Turcke will become the highest-ranked female executive at the NFL. The new job will require her to move from Los Angeles to New York.
Under Turcke’s leadership, NFL Network had one of its most successful years and was the second-most viewed sports network behind ESPN.
In the COO role, Turcke will be in charge of marketing, communications, human resources, international, events and technology departments. Interestingly, football operations (led by executive vice president Troy Vincent) will not report to Turcke, as had been the case under Leiweke.
Who ends up overseeing football operations has not yet been announced. As NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in an internal memo, “There will be further organizational announcements as we continue to assess the opportunities and challenges and position ourselves for continued success.” That presumably includes whomever replaces Turcke as head of digital media and NFL Network.
Leiweke leaves the COO position after three years. He joined the NFL after five years as the CEO of the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning. Prior to that, he was the Seattle Seahawks’ CEO for seven years. According to SBD, Leiweke was overseeing the NFL’s long-term planning recently, building toward the league’s 100th anniversary next year. When he was hired, his primary role was to steady a league that was plagued by domestic violence scandals, putting Goodell under intense scrutiny.
UPDATE: SBD reported that Leiweke was rumored to be joining his brother Tim with entertainment and live entertainment company Oak View Group. According to the Seattle Times‘ Geoff Baker, Leiweke is expected to run the Seattle NHL franchise if Oak View Group, which is overseeing the renovation of Key Arena, is awarded an expansion team.