ESPN named Justin Connolly, who has headed up college networks (including the SEC Network), as new head of distribution at ESPN and Disney networks, following the recently announced plans by Sean Bratches and David Preschlack to leave at year's end. Before overseeing the successfully launched SEC Network, Connolly spent a decade in ESPN affiliate sales and he had been speculated as a possible successor to Preschlack. Connolly's new title is the one Preschlack held, executive VP, Disney & ESPN Affiliate Sales and Marketing.
ESPN also elevated Ed Erhardt to president, global sales & marketing, enhancing his portfolio with consumer marketing, ad sales and research. Bratches, who was the longtime head of ESPN distribution efforts, had seen his role expand over the years to include ad sales and other roles, and Preschlack rose to oversee distribution.