For the past four months, ESPN has been without an ombudsman, ever since Le Anne Schreiber’s final column in March. During that time, the Worldwide Leader has been a rudderless ship, sailing out of control, doing whatever they please. Well, not really – you probably didn’t even know their ombudsman position was vacant.
But that empty position is apparently about to be filled, by one Don Ohlmeyer. According to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch (on his Twitter account – remember, all news happens on Twitter now), ESPN will make the announcement today, and he will start in August.
Ohlmeyer has been rumored to be the replacement for some time, thanks to AJ Daulerio’s detective work over at Deadspin a month ago. Ohlmeyer has made his name in television, as a former executive at both NBC and ABC; he was charged with reformatting Monday Night Football, so, you can thank him for Dennis Miller. From Daulerio:
"[the move]…is a dramatic shift from prior ombudspeople…but it could possibly be a better fit for the position if ESPN covets criticism for all of its media platforms, especially its television programming. This move also further solidifies ESPN's takeover of the sports media universe, as they'll have one of the industry's more lionized visionaries on staff to publicly consult criticize them into becoming even more World Wide Leadery.”
ESPN Hires Don Ohlmeyer, Sports Media Legend, as Ombudsman - FanHouse
Richard Deitsch - Twitter
ESPN Ombudsperson Of Significant Interest: Don Ohlmeyer - Deadspin