Fox Sports Hires Jamie Horowitz as new President of Fox Sports National Networks

After he was unceremoniously let go from NBC after a disastrous tenure at the Today show, Jamie Horowitz has been able to pick up the pieces and has a new position at another network on a different coast. The former ESPN wunderkind has been hired at Fox Sports as the newly-created President, Fox Sports National Networks.

He’ll report to Fox Sports President Eric Shanks and be in charge of all news and studio programming plus the day-to-day operations for Fox Sports 1 and 2. Horowitz will be based out of the Fox Sports World Headquarters in Los Angeles and begin working in his new position in May.

Horowitz was responsible for the creation of First Take, Olbermann, SportsNation and other programs at ESPN. And while many of his programs were ratings winners, he also brought in the culture of “Embrace Debate” that still lingers at the Alleged Worldwide Leader.

Because of his track record at ESPN, NBC News hired him to help change the fortunes at the Today Show, but after reported behind-the-scenes backstabbing and attempted leaks, he was fired after a few months of taking meetings at 30 Rock and a month before he was officially to take his position there.

But all that is behind him and Fox jumped at the chance to hire Horowitz change its fortunes at Fox Sports 1 which has yet to have that signature studio show since it launched in August 2013.

Here’s the official announcement:

Fox Sports

Jamie Horowitz Appointed President, FOX Sports National Networks
John Entz Promoted to President, FOX Sports Production;
David Nathanson Promoted to Head of Business Operations

Los Angeles — FOX Sports, the world’s leading sports media brand, is reorganizing its U.S. management structure. The announcement was made today by Eric Shanks, President, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Producer, FOX Sports.

Headlining this restructuring is the appointment of Jamie Horowitz to the newly created position of President, FOX Sports National Networks. Horowitz, a former ESPN and NBC News executive, oversees all programming, marketing and scheduling for FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, reporting directly to Shanks. His responsibilities also include management and development of original programming and day-to-day operations for FOX Sports 1’s news and studio programs, including AMERICA’S PREGAME, NASCAR RACEHUB and FOX SPORTS LIVE, the channel’s flagship nightly news, highlights and commentary program.  Horowitz will be based at the Fox Network Center in Los Angeles and is scheduled to assume his new position in mid-May.

“Watching FOX Sports 1 grow and evolve over the 21 months since we launched has been exhilarating, and I’m so proud of our team for what we’ve achieved,” said Shanks. “FOX Sports 1 is the fastest growing sports channel in the country, and we’ve seen about a 30% viewership increase overall, and 50% increase for live events, year over year. That substantial growth has made it necessary to more clearly define our organizational structure so we’re better positioned for long-term success. Bringing an extremely creative executive like Jamie aboard to oversee our national cable channels ties everything together.”

In addition to the Horowitz appointment, John Entz, FOX Sports’ Executive Vice President, Production and Executive Producer, has been promoted to President, Production, FOX Sports and continues to report to Shanks. Entz is responsible for all live event production, pre- and postgame coverage, as well as studio and technical operations.

“John is responsible for maintaining the unparalleled game and event production quality that FOX Sports is known for, and this promotion recognizes that important achievement,” added Shanks. “As FOX Sports 1 matures, and more events are added, having John focus his attention solely on that aspect of our operation is essential and will keep our production standards the envy of the industry.”

David Nathanson, formerly General Manager and Chief Operating Officer of FOX Sports 1 and FOX Sports 2, has been promoted to Head of Business Operations, FOX Sports, a newly created position. In this post, which also reports to Shanks, Nathanson manages business and league relationships, contributes to rights negotiations and identifies untapped revenue generating opportunities having to do with all linear and digital channels and platforms under the FOX Sports umbrella.

“David has been a terrific leader and has done a masterful job positioning FOX Sports 1 for enormous growth,” offered Shanks. Among other properties, he was the key executive responsible for FOX Sports having won the rights to the World Cup and Women’s World Cup through 2026, and tapping those skills going forward no doubt will help the entire FOX Sports organization grow faster, sooner.”

In addition to the moves with Entz and Nathanson, Jeff Krolik continues as President, FOX Sports Regional Networks, including oversight of FOX Deportes, while Pete Vlastelica remains Executive Vice President, Digital, FOX Sports. Both will continue reporting to Shanks.

“Jeff and Pete have been, and will continue to be true leaders in every sense of the word,” added Shanks. “Our regional sports networks are thriving on every level and our mobile and digital offerings are setting new industry standards.”

In the fall of 2014, Horowitz served as Senior Vice President/General Manager of Today, NBC News’ long-running morning program, overseeing all platforms of the show’s brand, driving greater integration and developing opportunities that served the audience beyond the day-to-day execution of the broadcast and digital platforms.

Horowitz established himself as an innovative developer of provocative sports programs during his many years at ESPN, where he served in a variety of capacities. In his most recent position, from February 2012 to August 2014, he held the title Vice President, Original Programming and Production where he was charged with the development of original studio shows, and oversaw the budgets and production for established shows, including Olbermann, First Take, Numbers Never Lie, SportsNation and Colin’s New Football Show. Horowitz also worked to drive revenue for the shows via custom content across multiple platforms.

As a coordinating producer at ESPN from January 2009 to January 2012, Horowitz created and executive produced the daily studio show, SportsNation, and created the weekly ESPN on ABC show, Winners Bracket. As a senior producer at ESPN from May 2006 to January 2009, he oversaw the development of original studio shows, and served as Executive Producer of the World Series of Poker.

Horowitz began his career in sports television as an Olympics researcher for NBC Sports (1998-2000) for the 2000 Sydney Summer Games, also writing for the NBC morning show during the Games.  After the Sydney Olympics he was elevated to associate producer with NBC Sports where he served from October 2000 to April 2006. There, Horowitz created and produced the National Heads-Up Poker Championship, and worked on remote and studio events for NBC’s coverage of NBA, NASCAR and the Olympics.

There you have it.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.