John Skipper, president of ESPN and co-chairman of the Disney Media Networks, announced his resignation from the sports media giant on Monday, citing an issue with "substance addiction." The timing of his announcement couldn't have come at a more bizarre time for both Skipper and the company.
In his statement, Skipper said, "I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction. I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem."
The news comes amidst a national opioid epidemic, and just a month after Skipper signed a contract extension through 2021 at ESPN. It also comes just as the network experienced a nine-year low in ratings, resulting in hundreds of layoffs of both on-air personalities and employees working behind the scenes. Many blamed the mostly liberal staff for injecting their liberal bias into their sports coverage.
However, in spite of everything that happened in the past year, Skipper got a boost of confidence when he signed his contract extension. So what happened so suddenly to cause this? There might be more to the story here.