Meet John Kosner -
John Kosner

John Kosner

President Kosner Media


John Kosner has built ESPN into the world’s leading digital sports destination over the past 15 years – increasing traffic ten-fold and turning an unprofitable business into ESPN’s fastest-growing one. John and his team have a track record of innovation in streaming and video-on-demand, fantasy games, podcasting, online advertising, and third-party partnerships.

In November 2016, ESPN reached a record 141mm global unique users, making it #1 for the first time both in the U.S. and outside the U.S. That month, the ESPN App generated the most users in the world among sports apps and the ESPN Fantasy App, the most useful. And ESPN ranked as the #5 daily U.S. digital property for millennial males, 18-34 using their smartphones.

John has hired and helped develop many of the top sportswriters of this generation including Wright Thompson, Bill Simmons, Zach Lowe, Ramona Shelburne, Bill Barnwell, and Sambit Bal as well as specialists like Adrian Wojnarowski, Matthew Berry, Henry Abbott, Jayski and Darren Rovell. He has also hired and elevated leaders including Aaron LaBerge, now ESPN’s CTO; Rob King, now in charge of “SportsCenter” and News; Ryan Spoon, ESPN’s first product chief; Laura Gentile, head of espnW and Women’s Initiatives; and Hugo Balta, ESPN’s first multicultural editor. In January 2016, John named Alison Overholt as Editor-in-Chief, ESPN The Magazine, making her the first woman ever to serve as lead editor of a general-interest sports publication. In Overholt’s first year, ESPN The Magazine won the prestigious National Magazine Award for General Excellence.

A 39-year veteran of sports media, John interned at NBC Sports in 1978 followed by positions at CBS Sports (’82-87), the NBA (’87-94), SI (’94-96) and ESPN (’97-’17). He was graduated with distinction from Stanford University in 1982 with a BA degree in American History. John lives in NYC with his wife, Diane Burstein, and their son, Luke. He has two older children, Walter and Grace.

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