Stephanie McMahon and Nick Khan have been named top sports media leaders by Business Insider.
The two names became co-CEOs of WWE after Vince McMahon announced his retirement on July 22, following ‘hush pact’ allegations.
In addition to their CEO roles, Stephanie McMahon acts as Chairwoman, and Nick Khan acts as the President of the company.
Business Insider has shared a list of 24 executives shaping sports media, with Stephanie and Nick mentioned on the list.
Referencing Vince McMahon’s departure, the article noted the following about the WWE co-CEOs:
It’s been quite a rollercoaster for Stephanie McMahon, who took a break from her role leading WWE brand relationships right in the middle of this year’s upfronts week. A few short weeks later, she emerged in the center of the ring.
McMahon won her promotion to co-CEO after her father, Vince McMahon, stepped down in the wake of a WSJ report that he had paid women hush money to suppress alleged affairs. Famed for creating compelling storylines around wrestlers like Roman Reigns, WWE saw its own strange succession narrative play out similarly in the business pages.
McMahon and co-CEO Nick Khan, the former co-head of TV at CAA, are set to build on WWE’s past successes by extending the wrestling franchise in fresh directions. Khan tripled WWE’s rights fees with TV partners that include Fox, USA, and Peacock. Coming up soon are a fresh set of media-rights renewals and potential new digital partners.
Rumors of a sale, however, are never far from the headlines.
“Whether on broadcast or streaming, cable, or social, WWE programming is achieving market-leading viewership,” McMahon, WWE chairwoman and co-CEO, said on the company’s earnings call in August. “Our diversified distribution approach is capturing fans at multiple touch points.”
Khan also said on the call: “As the streaming landscape matures and sports becomes a core offering on all these services, we believe our product’s three-pronged ability to draw in viewers, retain viewers year-round, and amass large audiences that sponsors love week-to-week, puts WWE in a small group of premium properties for any media company.”
The public company turned in a good first half of 2022, and some analysts are bullish on the stock. Steven Cahall at Wells Fargo said in an August investor note that engagement on Peacock is growing and other premium events are delivering record viewership, while “Raw” viewership was flat and “SmackDown” did well versus the broader TV ecosystem.
The stock is up 40% year-to-date. Not a bad comeback after COVID iced the live events business.
An update has emerged on the Vince McMahon Netflix documentary, following rumors that the project had been scrapped.
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