EDITORS NOTE: Below is a message, penned by Jimmy Pitaro (Chairman, ESPN and Sports Content) and shared with ESPN employees today about Jodi Markley, ESPN Executive Vice President, Content and Creative Services, who is retiring this week after 32 years.
Although we knew this day would come when we announced Jodi Markley’s retirement back in November, it does not lessen the emotion we feel with her impending departure Friday.
Jodi, one of ESPN’s most successful and admired executives, has been a mentor and innovator since joining full-time in March 1989. Under Jodi’s 32 years of production leadership, ESPN has experienced dramatic growth and has soared to new production heights. She has been at the forefront of ESPN’s industry-leading operational and technological enhancements.
The pandemic challenged ESPN to reimagine every aspect of how we create our content, and Jodi and her team developed new, innovative workflows which enabled us to produce large-scale shows and events by using a combination of virtual technology, in-home cameras and minimal on-site work in our Bristol studios, keeping our people and guests safe and healthy.
Another major contribution by Jodi over the years was her integral role in launching dozens of ESPN International networks, as well as numerous programming initiatives – including 13 different versions of SportsCenter around the world.
As I told Jodi at our senior staff meeting last week, ESPN would not be what it is today without her. Her experience and skill combined with her professionalism and high integrity set the example for all of us.
Jodi is an award-winning executive. She was named a “Wonder Woman” by Multichannel News, and made many “most powerful lists,” including Broadcasting and Cable, CableFax Daily and Sports Business Journal. Jodi believed in serving ESPN internally by mentoring many, and co-chairing its executive women’s forum and 40th anniversary committee. She has dedicated much of her time and energy outside of ESPN to organizations like the Association for Women in Sports Media, Sports Video Group, The American Red Cross and WICT.
I met Jodi a little over three years ago when I first joined ESPN, and I feel privileged to have been able to sit at the ESPN leadership table with her during that entire time. As I told Jodi at our senior staff meeting last week, ESPN would not be what it is today without her. Her experience and skill combined with her professionalism and high integrity set the example for all of us.
It is rare for one person to influence and impact an organization as much as Jodi has here. I want to thank Jodi for her extraordinary contributions, and please join me in offering her our sincere congratulations on a fantastic career.
Best of luck Jodi!