John Skipper net worth and salary: John Skipper is an American entertainment executive who has a net worth of $20 million dollars and annual salary of $8 million. Based in Connecticut, John Skipper graduated from the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill with a degree in English Literature. He then went on to earn an MA in English Literature from Columbia University in New York City. After completing his studies, he began his professional career as a secretary at Rolling Stone magazine. He eventually moved up the ranks, and became a staff writer. He also worked for US Magazine and Spin. He went on to become Senior Vice President of Disney Publishing Group.
In the late 90s, he was named Senior Vice President and General Manager of ESPN The Magazine. Eight years later, he became Executive Vice President of Content. In early 2012, he was named President of ESPN, Inc. He is also the co-chairman of Disney Media Networks. On December 18, 2018 John Skipper announced he was stepping down from ESPN to seek treatment for a substance abuse problem. He reportedly has been suffering from addiction for a long time and finally decided to seek help. At the time of his resignation, Skipper was arguably the most powerful person in the world of professional sports.
John Skipper is a prominent figure in the American sports media industry. He has held key positions at ESPN, Disney, and DAZN Group, contributing significantly to the world of sports broadcasting. This narrative explores his career trajectory, his influence on ESPN, and his ventures beyond the network.
Early Life and Education
John Skipper’s journey began in Lexington, North Carolina. He attended Lexington Senior High School before pursuing higher education at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he obtained a bachelor’s degree in English literature. His academic journey continued at Columbia University, where he earned a master’s degree in English literature.
Rolling Stone and Career Beginnings
Upon completing his education, Skipper embarked on a career in media. He started at Rolling Stone magazine, initially serving as an executive assistant. Over time, he advanced within the organization. Subsequently, he worked for Us and Spin magazines before assuming the role of senior vice president at Disney Publishing Group.
ESPN: A Storied Career
Skipper’s most notable career chapter unfolded at ESPN. In June 1997, he joined ESPN as the senior vice president and general manager of ESPN the Magazine. His role evolved over the years, with his appointment as the executive vice president of content in October 2005. On January 1, 2012, he ascended to the position of president of ESPN Inc. and co-chairman of Disney Media Networks.
During his tenure as President, Skipper was renowned for securing substantial television rights contracts for major sporting events. Notable deals included a nine-year, $12 billion contract with the National Basketball Association and a $7.3 billion agreement for the College Football Playoff, along with coverage rights for all four tennis Grand Slams and the Masters Tournament in golf.
However, Skipper’s time at ESPN was marked by a personal struggle. In December 2017, he disclosed his battle with substance addiction, leading to his resignation as the president of ESPN. A cocaine extortion attempt played a role in his decision to step down. His departure saw George Bodenheimer temporarily assume the role of acting chairman during the leadership transition.
Despite this challenging period, many current and former ESPN colleagues expressed support for Skipper’s decision to prioritize his well-being.
DAZN Group: A New Chapter
In May 2018, Skipper took on a new role as the executive chairman of DAZN Group, a British international sports media company, operating from New York City. Under his leadership, DAZN Group announced plans to launch its international sports streaming service, DAZN, in the United States. This venture included a significant partnership with British boxing promoter Eddie Hearn to host major boxing events in the U.S.
Skipper’s vision extended beyond this initial launch, aiming to position DAZN as a formidable competitor to established sports broadcasters like ESPN. He emphasized building the brand in the United States and showcasing the quality of their technology.
In terms of his personal well-being, Skipper expressed contentment and enthusiasm for the future.
Meadowlark Media: A New Frontier
In January 2021, Skipper joined forces with former ESPN personality Dan Le Batard to establish Meadowlark Media, a content company focused on sports. Notably, Skipper continued his role at DAZN while taking on this new venture. Meadowlark Media secured a significant deal with Apple TV+ as part of its content endeavors.
Legacy at ESPN
Skipper’s legacy at ESPN was characterized by both praise and criticism. He was applauded for his strong support of journalism and his ability to take chances on ambitious projects like Grantland, FiveThirtyEight, The Undefeated, and 30 for 30. His contributions helped ESPN evolve into a smarter and more diverse network, encompassing both gender and racial diversity.
However, it is worth noting that during his tenure, ESPN faced challenges such as a decline in subscribers due to cord-cutting, layoffs, and criticism regarding programming quality. Additionally, Skipper’s initial disregard of eSports as a “real sport” was met with negative reactions from various quarters.
John Skipper is divorced and has two adult sons. He resides in Manhattan and, in 2018, he began dating Venezuelan fashion entrepreneur Carmen Busquets.