Eric Shanks has given notice at DirecTV, leaving the satellite TV service to assume the job of president, Fox Sports.
Upon moving into his new digs, the 38-year-old Shanks will become the youngest executive to helm a broadcast sports division.
Effective June 1, current president and Fox Sports co-founder Ed Goren will ascend to the position of vice chairman. Both he and Shanks will report to Fox Sports Media Group chairman & CEO David Hill.
“This reorganization better positions Fox Sports for growth right now and in the future,” said Hill, by way of announcing the moves. “Ed is one of the most respected, experienced sports television executives in the country and has played a key role in making Fox Sports the industry leader it is today.”
Last January, all sports-related operations––including the broadcast sports division as well as the company’s complement of cable channels like Fox Soccer Channel, Speed and Fuel TV––were placed under the auspices of Hill. Along with the 19 RSNs and the Big Ten Network, the various properties were joined under the new Fox Sports Media Group banner.
Having most recently served as executive vp of DirecTV Entertainment, Shanks becomes only the third executive to serve as president of Fox Sports since its inception in December 1993. The first two presidents: Hill and Goren.
In his new role, he’ll oversee programming, production, field and studio operations, marketing, promotion, communications, business and legal affairs for the broadcast sports division.
The move is a homecoming of sorts for Shanks, who first joined Fox Sports in 1994, coming aboard as a broadcast associate. A pioneer of enhancing TV sports by way of digital technology, Shanks helped develop the signature yellow first-down line that has become SOP in football telecasts and had a hand in birthing the FOXTrax “glowing puck.”
He began his career in media in 1993, as a CBS Sports broadcast associate.
“Eric has spent the last decade-and-a-half developing … an expertise in production, programming, interactive and enhanced TV services,” Hill said. “These skills are going to be essential as we adapt our business to an ever-changing landscape.”
Among his many accomplishments at DirecTV, Shanks formed the operator’s first in-house advertising sales team in 2006. He also was a driving force behind the launch of the NFL RedZone enhancement, as well as DirecTV’s recently-announced 3D programming initiative.
He joined the company in 2004 as senior vp of advanced services and content.
In his new role, Goren will assist Hill in all aspects of FSMG’s business and programming operations. These include: production, program development, research, marketing/on-air promotion, scheduling and identifying new business opportunities. He retains his position on the Big Ten Network board of directors.
“I’m excited to have Eric, whom I recruited from CBS 16 years ago, return to us and succeed me as Fox Sports president,” Goren said. “He’s an extremely bright and talented young executive with a 21st century skill set, and I’m looking forward to working with him.”
During Goren’s tenure as Fox Sports executive producer and president, the network has broadcast 16 seasons of NFL coverage––including five Super Bowls––and 15 MLB seasons, with 12 World Series and 11 All-Star Games. Goren also steered the unit in a time during which the broadcaster carried four NCAA Bowl Championships Series and three National Championship Games.