Jamie Horowitz is on the move again. Over the last two decades, Horowitz has been a remarkably key figure in the sports media world. His latest role there has been as executive vice president, development and digital at World Wrestling Entertainment since June 2021. But this week’s completion of Endeavor’s acquisition of WWE (and combination of it in a division with the UFC, which they also own) is leading to major layoffs there (estimated to hit up to 100 employees by some). And PWInsider’s Mike Johnson reported Friday that Horowitz is the first confirmed executive caught in those layoffs:
FIRST CONFIRMED WWE EXECUTIVE DEPARTURE
— PWInsider.com (@PWInsidercom) September 15, 2023
Here’s more from Johnson’s piece:
PWInsider.com has confirmed with multiple sources that Jamie Horowitz, who held the post of Executive Vice President of Development and Digital, WWE, is no longer with World Wrestling Entertainment as a result of the post-Endeavor aquisition layoffs.
Horowitz had been with the company from June 2021 on, coming over from streaming DAZN, where he was Executive Vice President of Global Content.
As Johnson notes, Horowitz was hired by Nick Khan, who remains as WWE CEO after this acquisition (and has offered thoughts on what the UFC-WWE combination might mean, and also has continued to offer his thoughts on the rest of the media world). So it’s interesting to see him leave while Khan is still there. But he’s far from the only high-level departure from WWE after this deal closed, with PWI also reporting that the layoffs include executive vice president and head of marketing Catherine Newman and director (enterprise master data and governance) Amanda Bloom, and with Front Office Sports reporting that these layoffs “could number over 100 positions.”
Watching Horowitz go is particularly interesting, though, as he’s made a massive impact on a wide variety of areas of sports television over the past few decades. That includes his first run at NBC (1998-2006, where he went from an Olympics researcher to an associate producer and helped to create the Heads-Up Poker Championship), his time at ESPN (2006-2014, where he went from a senior producer to vice president, original programming and production, and helped to create and produce SportsNation, First Take, Olbermann, Numbers Never Lie, and more while popularizing the “Embrace Debate” strategy), his controversial three-month stint in the fall of 2014 as senior vice president and general manager of Today at NBC, and his controversial time at Fox (as president of national networks from 2015-2017, which saw him bring in Colin Cowherd and Skip Bayless, give lots of interviews about the “Embrace Debate” strategy while blasting ESPN, kill their website’s written content, and eventually exit amidst a sexual harassment investigation).
Since then, Horowitz has wound up in several other prominent roles. He worked at DAZN as executive vice-president (content) from May 2019-June 2021, and did so after advising the company (then led by former ESPN president John Skipper) on their MLB deal. His time there included a push for Sunday Ticket (which they didn’t get) and a number of original content efforts around their boxing promotions. He then went to WWE in June 2021, coming in to oversee their original scripted and unscripted content (including WWE Studios and various documentary projects with outside partners). So it’s notable to see him now let go. We’ll see what’s next for him. (FOS indicated he is ‘expected to work closely’ with Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions; he’s been previously reported as an advisor to Manning, including around the launch of that company.)