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ESPN names Disney exec as next president

New ESPN president Jimmy Pitaro
James Pitaro. Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images

ESPN has named Disney executive James Pitaro as its new president, more than two months after John Skipper suddenly resigned to focus on his substance abuse.

Bottom line: Pitaro had been widely considered a front-runner for the job, due to his close relationship with Disney boss Bob Iger and his strong performance running Disney's consumer products and interactive business units. But Iger had kept his cards close to his vest, and was not asked about the ESPN opening during Disney's most recent earnings call.