With Ken Hershman recently leaving Showtime Sports for a more lucrative, higher-profile gig as the boss at HBO Sports, which officially starts in January, Showtime has named their replacement for the very successful Hershman. Stephen Espinoza, who has represented Oscar De La Hoya and Mike Tyson in the past, and worked with Golden Boy Promotions as an attorney, is the new Executive Vice President and General Manager.
"Stephen has had a great career that spans sports, entertainment, television and film," said Showtime Chariman and CEO Matthew Blank. "His deep experience in a variety of fields and incredible knowledge and contacts within the boxing and mixed martial arts communities will be an asset to Showtime as we continue to expand our offerings. I am confident that he will be a great leader to our already all-star sports group."
While it's not yet clear what Espinoza will bring to the table in terms of creative ideas or better or worse fights getting made for the network, he's got some background in boxing and there is a good group of people around him still at Showtime who can help the transition. Ken Hershman "booked" what's left of this year, but things have still gone pretty smoothly in his absence.
It will be interesting to see if Showtime scales back a bit in the short-term. Right now, with their leadership moving around, they're not in a great position to make any big charge. And it was Hershman who arranged the Super Six against all odds, and played a major role in bringing Manny Pacquiao to Showtime and CBS, even if it was a one-off. Espinoza has big shoes to fill.