Showtime Networks Inc. has filled its topped sports programming position, tapping entertainment and sports lawyer Stephen Espinoza.
Espinoza will serve as the network's executive vice president and general manger of Showtime Sports and Event Programming, replacing Ken Hershman who left Showtime last month to head up Showtime's pay TV competitor HBO's sports division.
Espinoza, who will report to Showtime Networks chairman and CEO Matthew Blank, will be responsible for managing the day-to-day activities of the sports and event group, including the network's Showtime Championship Boxing and Strikeforce mixed martial arts franchises, as well as sports series Inside NASCAR, and Inside The NFL..
Most recently, Espinoza was a partner in the firm of Ziffren Brittenham LLP, where he specialize in representing athletes and sports personalities, including boxers Mike Tyson and Oscar De La Hoya, and served as lead counsel for De La Hoya's Golden Boy Promotions.
During his tenure at Ziffren Brittenham, Espinoza also represented several performers such as Keanu Reeves, James Spader, Vanessa Hudgens; musical artists Alicia Keys, Eminem, Shakira and Snoop Dogg; writer/directors Tyler Perry and Matthew Vaughn; director Barry Sonnenfeld; and producers Scott Rudin and Gavin Polone.
"Stephen has had a great career that spans sports, entertainment, television and film," said Blank in a statement. "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."