or


[04/03/14 - 12:26 PM]
ESPN Pioneer Chuck Pagano to Retire; LaBerge Named Successor
Aaron LaBerge has been named Pagano's successor and will assume the day-to-day management of the team June 1, reporting to Pagano and ESPN President John Skipper.

[via press release from ESPN]

ESPN Pioneer Chuck Pagano to Retire; LaBerge Named Successor

Technology Chief Key Driver of ESPN's Technological Innovation from Beginning

Charles E. "Chuck" Pagano, who joined ESPN prior to its September 7, 1979, debut and whose vision and passion has driven ESPN's innovative use of technology for 35 years, will retire from the company in February 2015. Aaron LaBerge, who rejoined ESPN in 2013 as senior vice president, technology and product development, has been named Pagano's successor and will assume the day-to-day management of the team June 1, 2014, reporting to Pagano and ESPN President John Skipper. Pagano will remain in an advisory role in order to effect a smooth transition.

Pagano, ESPN's executive vice president, technology since 2005, was given the added title of ESPN's first chief technology officer in 2011 with added duties including advising other divisions across The Walt Disney Company on technological developments. Under his leadership and guidance, ESPN has built industry leading facilities at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn, its Los Angeles production center and around the world. This May, ESPN will launch Digital Center 2 in Bristol, a 195,000-square-foot facility featuring numerous technical firsts. Over the years, Pagano's contributions have made ESPN the leader in marrying cutting-edge technology to unparalleled content across a variety of media platforms.

"Quite simply, Chuck Pagano personifies ESPN - its entrepreneurial spirit, its creative passion and its focus on the people who make it all happen - and we would not be what we are today without him," Skipper said. "I am personally grateful for his contributions and insights, and I join all ESPNers in offering an enthusiastic thank you for all he has meant to our company."

LaBerge's ESPN roots go to the very early days of ESPN.com and ESPN's initial Internet product development efforts. He is in his second tour of duty with ESPN, having left for a time to launch and operate his own consumer software and digital product development company.

"In Aaron, we have an executive well versed in ESPN's culture and history, and who is also relentlessly focused on what's next," said Skipper. "He is a visionary technologist whose experience at ESPN and also in founding and successfully running his own company gives us a huge advantage as we contemplate how the future will evolve."

Pagano's career at ESPN spans more than three decades, having joined as a technical director in August 1979, a few weeks before the network launched in 1.4 million homes. At ESPN and throughout the industry, Pagano is known as a collaborative partner, an early adopter of new ideas and techniques, and a leader who always recognized that technology starts with people.

"I've been incredibly lucky to be at a place where from Day One, people have been emboldened to break barriers and seek new ideas," said Pagano. "I've been surrounded by incredibly talented and dedicated people. I learned long ago that the best leaders let others do their best work, as long as they have the appropriate culture and motivation to innovate. Yet, for all the amazing advancements I've seen - from two-inch tape to HD - what I remain most proud of is simply our birth. The odds were against this rag-tag group of people crazy enough to work 18 hours a day, seven days a week, but we had a goal and we reached it. We envisioned what others scoffed at - an all-sports network. Everything we are today started with that."

Among his many accomplishments, Pagano's influence was critical to the company's decision to launch an HD service in 2003, well before there was industry consensus on the preferred format. ESPN's first Digital Center, under construction at the time, was re-tooled by Pagano and his team, and at launch was the most sophisticated building of its kind in the world. ESPN's second Digital Center will open in late May. LaBerge has been working closely with Pagano as a key architect of that facility.

Before joining ESPN, Pagano worked for WFSB-TV, the CBS affiliate in Hartford, Conn., as a technician from 1977-1979. The native of Waterbury, Conn., (half-) jokingly says he joined ESPN to cut his commute in half.

An avid astronomer, Pagano has received many honors for his visionary and creative approach to both technology and his approach to management, including being the recipient of the 2012 Vanguard Award for Science & Technology presented by the NCTA and induction into the Broadcasting & Cable Hall of Fame in December 2012. Most recently, Pagano was honored by SMPTE with the David Sarnoff Medal, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the development of new techniques or equipment that have contributed to the improvement of the engineering phases of television technology, including large-venue presentations. He was also inducted into the Sports Broadcasting Hall of Fame in December 2013, and has won two Emmy Awards for technical achievement.

Pagano remains active in giving back to the community. Pagano currently serves on the Board of Regents at the University of Hartford, his alma mater, as well as on the Board of Advisers for the College of Engineering, Technology and Architecture. He also serves on the Tunxis Foundation Board for Tunxis Community College in Farmington, Conn., and is Chairman of the Connecticut Technology Council. He is President of the Board of Directors of The Holy Land, a grass-roots community effort to restore a sanctuary in his hometown of Waterbury, Conn.

Pagano received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1984 and a master of science degree in organizational psychology in 2007, both from the University of Hartford.

Aaron LaBerge

LaBerge first worked at ESPN for a decade, 1997 - 2007, originally as a software engineer, through Disney's acquisition of Starwave Ventures, the company that produced ESPN's early Internet initiatives. In his current role, LaBerge is responsible for oversight and strategic leadership for technology and product development for digital media and mobile platforms, and on-air production software. His teams include the production data group supporting all ESPN media, technology integration across multiple media platforms, and ESPN's technology research and development team.

In 2007, LaBerge pursued a new path as co-founder of Fanzter Inc., and served as CEO of the venture-funded consumer software and digital product development company. In this capacity, he directed the development and launch of a variety of consumer-focused Internet and mobile products.

"Chuck Pagano is one of the smartest, most curious and most loved people I know," LaBerge said. "While it is impossible to fill his shoes, I'm excited to advance the legacy of innovation that Chuck has fostered for more than 35 years. ESPN is one of the greatest American companies ever created and I am humbled to accept the challenge to lead the technology team as we shape the next wave of products and services."

He is a native of Charleston, S.C., and holds a bachelor of science degree in electrical and computer engineering from the University of South Carolina.





  [april 2014]  
S
M
T
W
T
F
S
  


· SHOWATCH
(series past and present)
· DEVWATCH
(series in development)
· MOVIEWATCH
(tv movies and mini-series)





[01/20/17 - 03:14 PM]
Disney Channel Debuts Season Two of "Stuck in the Middle" with a Family Movie Event "Stuck in the Waterpark - The Movie," on February 3
The telecast will be preceded by family favorites "Despicable Me" and Disney Pixar's "Monsters University."

[01/20/17 - 02:59 PM]
Amazon Original Series "Patriot" to Screen at Berlin Film Festival, Berlinale
Michael Dorman, Terry O'Quinn, Kurtwood Smith and Michael Chernus star in the drama, the full season of which rolls out on the streaming service February 24.

[01/20/17 - 12:46 PM]
"Braking" News: Premiere of "Mickey and the Roadster Racers" Takes the Checkered Flag, Fuels Disney Junior and Disney Channel to Pole Position
Disney Channel further spins the numbers for Sunday, January 15.

[01/20/17 - 10:31 AM]
Ray Diaz Joins Cast of TV Land's "Lopez" as Series Regular
The series returns for its second season on Wednesday, March 29 at 10:30/9:30c.

[01/20/17 - 09:38 AM]
Thursday's Broadcast Ratings: "The Big Bang Theory" Original Sparks CBS Victory
The Eye wins the night in total viewers and adults 18-49.

[01/20/17 - 07:58 AM]
History Teams with Travis Fimmel for Scripted Anthology Series in Development from A+E Studios, Atlas Entertainment and Imperative Entertainment
The scripted anthology series tells the stories of Wyatt Earp and other iconic sinners and anti-heroes throughout history.

[01/20/17 - 07:33 AM]
"We Make the Terror" - Season Five of "House of Cards" to Premiere May 30
Netflix made said announcement via Twitter this morning.

[01/20/17 - 06:33 AM]
Amazon Studios Sets May 12 as Premiere Date for "I Love Dick"
The series will also be presented at the Sundance Film Festival on Monday, January 23.

[01/20/17 - 06:30 AM]
Ten-Time Grammy(R) Award Winner and Current Nominee Adele to Perform on "The 59th Annual Grammy Awards(R)" Feb. 12
She will perform a song from her Grammy-nominated album, 25, marking the fourth time she takes the Grammy stage.

[01/19/17 - 02:15 PM]
History's "Six" Opens Strong with 2.6 Million Total Viewers
History spins the numbers for Wednesday, January 18.

[01/19/17 - 01:18 PM]
Amazon Original Series "Sneaky Pete" Renewed for Season Two
The series was the second most streamed original scripted series on an opening day, behind "The Man in the High Castle."

[01/19/17 - 12:29 PM]
Catch Up with Past MVPs in "Puppy Bowl: Where Are They Now?" New Date - Friday, January 27
The one-hour special was previously slated to air tomorrow night on the cable channel.

[01/19/17 - 12:24 PM]
Roel Reine to Direct "Marvel's The Inhumans"
The series, produced in conjunction with ABC Studios and filmed entirely with IMAX digital cameras, will run worldwide exclusively in IMAX for two weeks at the beginning of September 2017.

[01/19/17 - 11:52 AM]
Food Network Orders Seconds of "Ginormous Food"
The series features comedian and food fanatic Josh Denny as he travels the country tasting the greatest and biggest dishes, while learning about the amazing stories and people behind them.

[01/19/17 - 11:46 AM]
A&E Network's Emmy-Nominated Series "Cold Case Files" Gets a Reboot Narrated by Danny Glover
The return of "Cold Case Files" will explore compelling new cases that have gone cold for years and chronicle the journeys of the detectives who reopened them.