Dec 18, 2017

ESPN President John Skipper resigns due to substance addiction

AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File

ESPN President John Skipper announced Monday that he is resigning as the network's president and co-chairman, a position he has had since 2012.

Why it matters: Skipper's resignation comes at a tumultuous time for ESPN. The network has faced two rounds of 100+ person layoffs this year and has been at the center of investor concerns for Disney's cable networks business. Disney announced last week that it would acquire most of 21st Century Fox's assets, including its regional sports networks, which add to the scope of the ever-changing role of ESPN at the network.

Former ESPN president and executive chairman George Bodenheimer will take over as acting chairman for the next three months while Iger finds a replacement, ESPN reports. Skipper has been with the network since 1997.

In a statement, Skipper thanked Disney President Bob Iger for the "human understanding and warmth" that he displayed during his time at the network:

"I come to this public disclosure with embarrassment, trepidation and a feeling of having let others I care about down."

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Focus group: What some Florida swing voters think of Bloomberg

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Chesnot/Getty Contributor

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Some swing voters here are unbothered by the way Michael Bloomberg is spending heaps of his own money to help him win the race — but they're split over whether they'd actually vote for the New York billionaire over President Trump.

Why it matters: Bloomberg is the only Democrat who was even slightly intriguing to these voters. They're happy with Trump and don't feel like they recognize the current Democratic Party relative to when they voted for Barack Obama.

In photos: India welcomes president with massive "Namaste Trump" rally

First Lady Melania Trump, President Trump and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi attend the "Namaste Trump" rally at Sardar Patel Stadium in Motera, on the outskirts of Ahmedabad, on Monday. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump told a massive crowd at a rally in Ahmedabad, northwest India, Monday he hopes to reach a trade deal with his ""true friend" Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two-day visit to the country "except he's a very tough negotiator."

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Coronavirus spreads to more countries as cases in South Korea surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. Note: China numbers are for the mainland only and U.S. numbers include repatriated citizens.

Afghanistan, Kuwait and Bahrain each reported their first cases of the novel coronavirus, Al Jazeera first reported, as infections in South Korea, Italy and mainland China continued to increase on Monday.

The big picture: As South Korea and Italy stepped up emergency measures in efforts to thwart the spread of the virus, World Health Organization officials expressed concern about infections with no clear link to China. COVID-19 has killed at least 2,619 people and infected almost 80,000 others, with all but 27 deaths occurring in mainland China.

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