Last Updated on 4 months by General
Tina Thornton, a dedicated professional who has been with ESPN since 1993, assumed the role of Senior Vice President, Production, and Chief of Staff to ESPN President in July 2018.
In this influential position, Tina provides valuable counsel to ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro and his team, offering insights and guidance on various aspects of ESPN’s extensive operations. She plays a crucial role in identifying new opportunities and potential risks, fostering discussions, and aiding in decision-making as part of the senior leadership team.
In addition to her responsibilities as Chief of Staff, Tina continues to oversee several key areas within the company. These include Production’s Management Operations team, which encompasses production management, scheduling, and business and personnel operations. She also manages ESPN Next, a dynamic career development program for employees across the content division. Furthermore, Tina took on a new responsibility in April 2019, leading ESPN’s corporate synergy group.
Tina previously served as Senior Vice President, Production, and Multimedia Sponsorship Integration and Management Operations starting in May 2015. In this role, she was responsible for overseeing the Management Operations team, the former Content Associate Program, and the Multimedia Sponsorship Integration unit (MSI) until March 2019. The MSI team collaborates with sales to maximize multimedia revenue through sponsorship integration and innovative executions.
For over a decade, from 2001 to 2014, Tina played a pivotal role in producing ESPN’s NCAA Championships coverage, which included 24 events such as wrestling, lacrosse, and the Women’s College World Series. Her leadership extended to ESPN’s women’s basketball coverage, which she headed from 2001 to 2016, including the NCAA Women’s Tournament and Final Four.
Tina’s journey at ESPN began in 1993 as a production assistant. Over the years, she held roles such as associate producer from 1994 to 1998, working on various events, including Sunday Night Football, Big Ten college football, college basketball, the NFL Draft, and multiple X Games and Winter X Games. Her role as coordinating producer spanned from 1998 to 2006, where she managed ESPN Outdoors programming, including the Bassmaster Tour, the Bassmaster Classic, and the ESPN Great Outdoor Games. She was promoted to senior coordinating producer in 2006.
In 2012, Tina Thornton and ESPN’s Rosalyn Durant were chosen as mentors in the inaugural year of the Global Sports Mentoring Program initiative led by espnW and the U.S. Department of State. This program has since entered its eighth year.
Hailing from Cincinnati, Tina holds a bachelor of arts degree in communications from Wake Forest University, which she obtained in 1993. In 1999, she completed the Simmons College Program for Developing Managers. From 2002 to 2005, she served a three-year term on the Wake Forest Alumni Council, representing a global community of nearly 40,000 alumni. In 2019, Mercy College bestowed upon her an Honorary Doctorate.
Tina’s outstanding contributions to the sports industry have earned her recognition. In September 2019, she was named to the class of Sports Business Journal Game Changers, and in September 2017, she received the “Woman to Watch” accolade from Women in Cable Television, an honor awarded to three remarkable women in the industry each year. She also participated in the Women in Cable Telecommunications (WICT) Betsy Magness Leadership Institute from 2005 to 2006 as a part of Class XII. Currently, she volunteers as a youth lacrosse coach in her hometown.