When it comes to sports media, Jamie Horowitz has led an extensive career with major entertainment companies and channels. Having played a key role in the development of popular programs like “The Herd,” “SportsNation,” and “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed,” Horowitz is a significant name in the sports media industry.
Jamie Horowitz’s Education and Early Career
In 1998, Horowitz graduated from Amherst College with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Government. Although his degree wasn’t sports-related, he created the university sports magazine “SportsAmherst.” He also wrote opinion pieces for “Amherst Student.”
Horowitz entered the sports media industry in 2000 as an Olympic researcher for NBC Sports during the Sydney Summer Games. He also wrote for the NBC Olympic morning show. That same year, NBC Sports promoted him to the role of associate producer.
In this role, he produced the “National Heads-Up Poker Championship,” an annual poker tournament. He also worked on NBC’s coverage of the National Basketball Association (NBA), the National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR), and the Olympics.
Career Highlights at ESPN
After nearly eight years with NBC, Horowitz took on a role with ESPN as a senior producer. He developed several studio shows for the channel and was the executive producer of “World Series of Poker.”
Three years later, ESPN made Horowitz a coordinating producer. This role saw him produce “SportsNation” with Colin Cowherd and Michelle Beadle. He also created the weekly ABC show “Winners Bracket.”
Fast-forward another three years, and ESPN announced that Horowitz would become the vice president (VP) of original programming and production. As VP, Horowitz played an important role in securing a deal with the NBA for the “Countdown” series. He also produced shows like:
- “First Take:” When this show first appeared onscreen in 2007, Jay Crawford and Dana Jacobson hosted and moderated the program. In 2011, the show changed its format, Skip Bayless played a larger role, and the show focused on debate. As a result of these changes, led by Horowitz, the show’s ratings increased dramatically.
- “SportsNation:” In its early days, much of “SportsNation” comprised material that fans had either suggested or generated. This material included videos from the internet, online polls, and athletes’ tweets. The sports show had aired in occasional segments on ESPN and ESPN2. In 2009, it became a fixture of the weekday afternoon block.
- “His and Hers:” Michael Smith and Jemele Hill originally hosted this sports discussion show, which originally premiered as the statistics-oriented program “Numbers Never Lie” in 2011. When the program dropped its metrics focus and morphed into a statistics-based sports program, ESPN rebranded the show as “His and Hers.”
- “Colin’s New Football Show:” Since launching in 2013, this show has attracted football fans who tune in to catch Cowherd’s latest opinions and unique takes on football every Sunday morning.
- “Olbermann:” After the show’s launch in 2013, Keith Olbermann hosted this sports talk show live each day from Times Square Studios in New York. He gave a 60-minute commentary and analysis of sports world issues for two years, during which the program rose to success.
Having created successful programs like these, Horowitz made an impressive impact on ESPN’s wider programming strategy.
Career Highlights at FOX Sports
After eight years with ESPN, Horowitz took on a new role, this time as the president of national networks at FOX Sports. He recruited a variety of high-profile personalities to enhance the networks’ programs, selecting Bayless, Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, and Doug Gottlieb to work with him.
During his time with FOX Sports, Horowitz created popular shows like “Speak for Yourself.” Now known as “Speak,” this sports talk show premiered in 2016 with Cowherd and Whitlock as hosts. The show blends sports and politics and has become popular with viewers across the nation.
He also relaunched “The Herd” with Cowherd. Originally a three-hour morning radio show, “The Herd” became a popular show on the FOX Sports lineup. Horowitz hired Cowherd to bring his unique voice in sports media to the network.
On top of this, Horowitz played a central role in the development of “Skip and Shannon: Undisputed.” Since premiering on FOX Sports 1 in September 2016 with Bayless and Shannon Sharpe, the show averaged 107,000 viewers per episode until December. This average rose to 155,000 in 2017, marking a 45% increase in viewership.
Under Horowitz’s leadership, FOX Sports grew extensively, releasing sports talk shows that have become television staples for many.
Jamie Horowitz’s Later Career and Legacy
Following his fruitful tenure with FOX Sports, Horowitz took the helm of content strategy at the international sports streaming service DAZN. As executive vice president, he oversaw live sports events and collaborated with John Skipper, the executive chairman at DAZN Group, on a $12 million investment to supercharge DAZN’s editorial strategy, social content, and original planning.
This role also saw Horowitz partner with Sylvester Stallone’s Balboa Productions to produce feature documentaries under the banner “One Night.” Plus, he was integral to the launch of the docuseries “40 days,” which follows the lead-up to the Canelo Alvarez vs. Daniel Jacobs middleweight boxing match.
On top of this, his leadership saw the successful launch of “The Pat McAfee Show,” and he helped land notable individuals for the baseball show “ChangeUp.” These individuals included comedian Scott Rogowsky, sports commentator Adnan Virk, former UCLA basketball manager Tony Luftman, sportscaster Lauren Gardner, and executive producer Logan Swaim.
Horowitz then progressed to his current role as executive vice president at World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE). In this role, he manages a large portion of the company’s original content for scripted and unscripted programs. He also manages WWE Studios in Los Angeles, where the company is working on projects like the upcoming Netflix docuseries about Vince McMahon.
Horowitz’s approach to sports media has seen the launch of several popular programs. He has impacted the growth of various sports channels and looks forward to progressing the future of sports media.