ESPN Executive on Path of Excellence

Rosalyn Durant’s career embodies a path of excellence, achievement and influence that has propelled her at a young age.

Her colleagues say she’s a woman on the rise who has made her imprint within The Walt Disney Company (owner of ESPN), the cable community and the sports world at large. Durant has built her reputation on strategic acceleration of the businesses under her purview and the ability to develop and maintain key relationships.

She is committed to eradicating invisible boundaries for all and sits on the Board of Directors of the T. Howard Foundation, dedicated to increasing diversity in the multimedia and entertainment industries.

Durant launched her career in 1998 as an intern at ESPN and has rapidly ascended to become a top executive within company and the sports community it serves. “I knew my present career was what I wanted to do when I interned at ESPN. I didn’t want the summer to end,” she said.

Her advancement began in affiliate sales and marketing where her internship turned into a full-time job. Her skill set and professionalism propelled her to senior director of national accounts in six short years and in 2006 she was promoted to senior director of programming.

Colleagues say her influence was immediate. She played a significant role in an eight-year contract extension with the NBA, which at the time was ESPN’s most-comprehensive digital rights package with a major professional sports league. She managed relationships with the NBA, Major League Soccer, FIFA and Olympic sport leagues. In 2008, she was named Vice President, ESPNU, where she maximized the value of ESPNU properties across the company’s multimedia assets, including television, internet, radio, print, broadband and wireless. She’s also spearheaded the development of signature events for the network including the ESPNU Signing Day franchise.

Under Durant’s supervision, ESPNU’s nationwide distribution jumped from about 25 million homes to 74 million, signing long-term carriage agreements with the top 10 distributors, and is a staple of ESPN’s industry-leading college sports programming portfolio.

After successfully steering ESPN’s first college network she was promoted to vice president, college sports programming & acquisitions and oversaw all of ESPN’s college sports relationships and championed the company wide efforts surrounding the inaugural College Football Playoff. Colleagues attribute her business acumen and expertise in developing meaningful business relationships as the keys to rapid success.

Today, she’s the senior vice president of college networks and sets the strategic direction for ESPN’s portfolio of college dedicated channels, including ESPNU, SEC Network and Longhorn Network.

Words she lives by:  What you do today creates every tomorrow. (Oprah)