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Jamie Horowitz To Lead WWE Studios & Oversee Original Content

“The accomplished sports television executive will oversee WWE’s original content and be responsible for WWE Studios in Los Angeles.”

Jason Barrett

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Photo Credit: Leon Bennett/Getty Images

The WWE continues to bolster its organization by adding individuals with strong experience in sports television. The latest addition, former FOX Sports National Networks President, ESPN Vice President of Original Programming and Production, and Executive Vice President of DAZN, Jamie Horowitz. Horowitz’s first day on the job is today, June 1st.

The accomplished sports television executive joins World Wrestling Entertainment as its Executive Vice President, Development & Digital. Horowitz will oversee WWE’s original content including scripted and unscripted programs for digital and social media. He will also be responsible for WWE Studios in Los Angeles.

The multi-platform content division, WWE Studios, has been involved in the release of more than 50 films and series, and has partnerships in place with Netflix, 20th Century Fox, Sony Pictures, MGM, Warner Brothers and others. Some of the current programs created by the company include A&E’s The Quest for Lost WWE Treasures, the award-winning A&E Biography which features documentaries on five former WWE superstars, Total Bellas on E! and Miz & Mrs on USA Network. The company also partnered with HBO and Bill Simmons to produce the Emmy-nominated documentary Andre the Giant.

Prior to joining WWE, Horowitz served as Executive Vice President, Global Content at DAZN where he oversaw the company’s original programming, social content and editorial strategy. Under his watch, DAZN put Pat McAfee’s show on television, Adnan Virk was hired to host a daily MLB highlight show titled ‘Change Up’, and the company teamed up with Sylvester Stallone to create the exceptional documentary ‘One Night: Joshua vs. Ruiz’. Both McAfee and Virk have since had working relationships with the WWE.

But inside sports media circles, Horowitz is most remembered for two things. First, his influence on ESPN’s talk programming, where he grew ratings by embracing the world of debate, developing First Take and Sports Nation. Second, was his move to FS1 to help launch the network and compete against his former employer. Horowitz used a similar strategy to build FS1 around personalities with an ability to deliver strong opinions and create conversation. His relationships and influence helped the network land Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless, and Jason Whitlock among others.

Though it wasn’t mentioned in the network’s press release, it’s highly likely Nick Khan’s involvement with WWE helped the company land the sports media executive. The two have known each other and have done deals together over the years. Khan is the former co-head of CAA’s television department and was one of most successful agents, attorneys and deal makers in the sports media industry before leaving CAA to become WWE President and Chief Revenue Officer.

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Sports TV News

Chris Fallica Leaving ESPN for FOX

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Jordan Bondurant

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A prominent sports betting voice featured on ESPN’s College GameDay will be heading to rival FOX and their Big Noon Kickoff show starting in 2023. According to Awful Announcing, Chris Fallica, affectionately known as “The Bear”, will make his last appearance on GameDay will be this weekend.

Fallica has been with ESPN since 1995. Since 2013, Fallica had been featured on GameDay making betting picks with his patented “Bear’s Board”.

Neither FOX or ESPN would comment on the situation, but in the Awful Announcing report it’s believed that there will be a send-off of some sort for Fallica on Saturday.

Fallica joins Tom Rinaldi as the second former GameDay voice to jump over to FOX and be featured on Big Noon Kickoff.

Both shows have experienced incredible viewership growth this season. For GameDay, there have been several weeks this season that have seen some of the largest audiences in the show’s history.

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Sports TV News

Tim Brando Believes Executives Look For Familiarity, Not Great Voices For Announcers

“Executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio. As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Jordan Bondurant

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Tim Brando has seen the broadcasting industry has evolved in a lot of ways through the years, but one thing that’s remained constant is how infrequently some of the announcing gigs with major networks open up to younger voices.

That’s mainly because you have veteran talent already occupying those positions with no plans for the immediate future to step aside.

On a recent edition of The Sports Talkers Podcast, FOX Sports broadcaster and host Tim Brando spoke to Stephen Strom about the reality that many broadcasters face.

“Yeah there are a lot more jobs, but there are fewer great jobs,” Brando said. “A lot of guys are getting jobs, but it’s like a dead end.”

But in terms of hiring younger talent for network jobs, he thinks it’s become more about adding faces to broadcast booths rather than voices.

“There’s a tendency I think now in our business to hire more visible and perhaps more popular talent because they’ve been in the studio,” he said. “But they’re not ready to be in the booth. Not everybody can do both well.”

Tim added that there’s a nuance to calling play-by-play versus working studio coverage. Brando said that perhaps it has a lot more to do with young broadcasters bypassing getting their start in radio and going right into TV.

“It seems to me that in some circles anyway in our business, executives are going more for people they think they audience knows from having been in the studio,” he said. “As opposed to man that’s a great voice, that guy really gets it, and his judgement is fantastic.”

Brando did mention some of the younger voices at FOX who have risen to the bigger opportunities in the booth, and how they ultimately worked their way up. He said he’s had the chance to offer advice to a few of them and act as a mentor in a way, because that’s how it was for him breaking into the industry.

“I believe in pouring into the young broadcasters out there, I really do,” he said. “Because Curt Gowdy poured into me. I think there’s a responsibility and a level of accountability for the generation before to help those that are coming up that you really respect.”

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Sports TV News

MLB Network Airing 38 Hours of Winter Meetings Coverage

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Jordan Bondurant

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The annual winter meetings for MLB are set to take place in-person for the first time since 2019 next week, and MLB Network is ready to bring viewers all the coverage possible from San Diego.

The network is devoting 38 hours of live programming on-site, with shows like MLB Tonight, Hot Stove, High Heat, MLB Now and Intentional Talk emanating from the Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel.

Coverage will begin on Sunday at 7 p.m. with MLB Tonight leading into the announcement of the Contemporary Baseball Era Committee’s election results for the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Fans tuning in to MLB Network can expect to see Greg Amsinger, Fran Charles, Brian Kenny, Stephen Nelson, Alanna Rizzo, Chris “Mad Dog” Russo, Lauren Shehadi and Matt Vasgersian hosting their respective shows throughout the week. Sean Casey, Mark DeRosa, Al Leiter, Cameron Maybin, Kevin Millar, Dan O’Dowd, Steve Phillips and Harold Reynolds will contribute coverage as analysts.

MLB Network will also carry coverage of the inaugural draft lottery from the winter meetings on Tuesday, December 6 at 8:30 p.m.

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