ESPN said Freddy Rolón has been named vice president and general manager of ESPN Deportes, where he has served since 2004 and, since 2011, has been VP of programming and business initiatives.
Lino Garcia, who had been GM of ESPN Deportes since before the Spanish-language service launched in 2004, left as part of the layoffs and restructurings in October 2015 that were planned to eliminate about 300 positions, ESPN said today. Rolón reports to Russell Wolff, the executive VP and managing director of ESPN International, whose role includes the sports programmer's international and U.S. Hispanic businesses. (Garcia had reported to Traug Keller, the senior VP of ESPN Audio, and Rolón will continue to work with Keller on ESPN Deportes Radio, ESPN said.)
Rolón also will work closely with Gerardo Casanova, vice president and general manager, ESPN Latin America North (Mexico and Central America), on audience and content development, ESPN said, citing new Mexico City studios as assets that can be drawn on to maximize the engagement of Mexican and U.S. Hispanic sports fans.
Rolón will oversee all aspects of the ESPN Deportes business, including the ESPN Deportes television network, "and will work closely with ESPN’s programming, production, audio, digital and print media teams, to maximize the relevance and appeal of ESPN’s English-language products to U.S. Hispanic fans."
“Freddy brings an expert blend of market intelligence, content know-how, brand knowledge and leadership to his new role,” Wolff said in a release. “The collaboration between Freddy and Gerardo will also help us find creative and innovative ways to best serve U.S. Hispanic fans on all of ESPN’s platforms.”
“ESPN is perfectly poised to serve the growing U.S. Hispanic audience in both Spanish and English,” Rolón said in the release. “We have tremendous expertise within the ESPN Deportes team, in addition to company-wide support for our efforts. I’m excited to work with this talented team of professionals to develop ESPN’s English, Spanish and bi-lingual strategies, and to identify new opportunities to propel our business forward.”