The Content Development department at ESPN, which has been headed up by Keith Clinkscales, is being shut down, Multichannel News reports.
Clinkscales is exiting the channel to become an independent producer, the story reports. The 20 to 25 positions in the unit will be "repurposed" into other facets of the company, while Clinkscales his relationship with ESPN but will work from outside the company.
In a statement, ESPN spokesman Rob Tobias said: "We evaluated the body of work we have produced and the amount and location of resources needed to meet our future needs. We felt very strongly that housing responsibility for this in our existing resources in Bristol will serve us best. We also felt that maintaining our focus on films made sense."
ESPN’s Programming group in Bristol, led by ESPN Executive VP of Programming and Acquisitions John Wildhack, and its Production group, headed by network Executive Senior VP of Studio and Event Production Norby Williamson, will take over content development activities.
Under Clinkscales’ leadership, Content Development produced movies and original shows including "E:60," "SportsNation," "Homecoming," "Rise Up" and "Year of the Quarterback."