You may or may not know who Mark Shapiro is, but he’s the guy who went from Jim Rome’s lowly production assistant in the early days of ESPN2 to the head of network programming in less than 10 years.
(I refuse to give PTI the nod until Tony K. wraps the wraparound)
As head of ESPN on-air conent from 2002-05, Shapiro created some duds, like those lame ESPN movies and Stephen A. Smith, and current ESPN upper management has quite obviously done plenty to distance itself from many of Shapiro’s initiatives. But Shapiro also masterminded many of the net’s signature properties, like the X Games, ESPY Awards and what has become ESPN’s top in-house broadcast property - Pardon The Interruption.
We all remember when PTI debuted. The over-the-top, sometimes nonsensical graphics & countdown clocks, bizarre between commercial look-ins and two well-aged gents no one had heard of outside The District.
Fast forward to today and according to more than one ESPN source, PTI regularly averages more viewers than SportsCenter and also enjoys a higher ad revenue base. And another bizarro Shapiro concoction, Around The Horn, isn’t far behind. Read more…