May 21– George Bodenheimer, former Executive Chairman, ESPN

Thursday, May 21, 2015
7:45-8:15am  Continental Breakfast
8:15-9:15am  Forum

George Bodenheimer
Former Executive Chairman, ESPN

Every Town Is a Sports Town
Business Leadership at ESPN, from the Mailroom to the Boardroom

in conversation with Chris Connelly,
Reporter, ESPN

500 South Figueroa Street
Los Angeles, CA 90071

$20 General Admission
$46 Includes Bodenheimer’s book

George Bodenheimer is an ESPN and cable industry pioneer and was the company’s longest-tenured president, a position he held from 1998-2011, overseeing all multimedia sports assets of The Walt Disney Company, including ABC Sports from 2003-2011 and serving as co-chairman, Disney Media Networks from 2004-2011. He served as Executive Chairman of ESPN, Inc., from 2012-2014. Bodenheimer graduated from Denison University with a degree in economics. 

ESPN’s rise is one of the most remarkable stories about business and sports in our time, and George Bodenheimer started working there in the mailroom!

It may be hard to believe, but not long ago, getting sports updates was difficult and frustrating. ESPN changed everything.

Initially hired to work in the mailroom, one of Bodenheimer’s first jobs was to pick up sportscaster Dick Vitale at the Hartford airport and drive him to ESPN’s main campus–a couple of trailers in a dirt parking lot. But as ESPN grew, so did George’s status in the company. In fact, Bodenheimer played a major part in making ESPN a daily presence not just in the US, but globally as well. 

Chris Connelly is a reporter for ESPN; his stories appear on Outside the Lines, SC Featured and E:60, as well as SportsCenter and NFL Sunday Countdown. Stories that he has reported and written have won three Sports Emmys and seven Edward R. Murrow Awards, as well as a Prism, a Gracie, and a National Headliner Award. Since 2006, he’s served as correspondent and host for ESPN’s yearly “My Wish” series, done in collaboration with Make-A-Wish America. He was a consulting producer for ESPN Films’ documentary series 30 for 30. From time to time, he discusses movies with Wesley Morris for Grantland’s Straight to Video.

For ABC News, Connelly is a contributor to 20/20, where he covers popular culture and other manifestations of the zeitgeist. He also contributes to Good Morning America and Nightline. He received a News Emmy as part of 20/20’s coverage of the California wildfires. 


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