Bleacher Report Announces New Roles for Senior Leaders
Bleacher Report founder and general manager Dave Finocchio and Sam Parnell, chief technology officer, will assume new strategic advisory roles with the division beginning in 2015.
Aligned with the transition, Dorth Raphaelyhas been elevated to general manager of Bleacher Report and Rory Brown has been named chief content officer, the division’s top leadership positions. Raphaely and Brown will now report directly to Hong.
Finocchio is the visionary behind the creation of Bleacher Report as one of its original founders. Under his guidance, most recently as general manager, Bleacher Report has surpassed several key milestones over the last year. The site ranked as the second largest standalone sports website for the first time ever from April-August and has registered a 40% annual increase in cross-platform monthly uniques, based on the latest comScore metrics. Bleacher Report’s popular Team Stream was also the No. 1 sports app with 682 million minutes spent in August and tallied 749 million minutes spent in September.
Parnell has been instrumental in leading Bleacher Report’s mobile-first strategy and the development of its leading product offerings across all digital platforms. Finocchio and Parnell will work closely with Hong, Raphaely, Brown and the Bleacher Report executive team in driving the continued evolution of the brand and its unprecedented audience growth. In addition, Turner Sports and Bleacher Report will create a new strategic advisory board for Bleacher Report, the function of which will be to help set the long term strategy for the division, on which Finocchio and Parnell will sit.
“Dave’s vision for Bleacher Report has always been based on the fundamental idea of best serving young sports fans at the teams and topics level,” said Matt Hong, executive vice president and general manager, Turner Sports. “Today, Bleacher Report follows that same premise and we’re thrilled both he and Sam will continue to have strategic roles as we further enhance our leading platforms, products and content offerings.”
In his new position as general manager, Raphaely will add responsibility for business operations, product management and design, engineering and oversight of international expansion to his current leadership of the programming, analytics and quality control teams. Raphaely, based in San Francisco, joined Bleacher Report in April 2011 as senior director of programming and most recently was vice president of programming, analytics and quality control.
“Dorth has a deep understanding of the way sports fans consume media, and how to build products and services which facilitate and enhance that consumption,” said Hong. “Under his leadership, we look forward to the continuation of Bleacher Report’s unprecedented growth and the evolution of its tremendously successful portfolio that has generated strong results for Turner Broadcasting.”
Brown, based in New York, will oversee all forms of content for Bleacher Report under a unified content creation team. He will spearhead both editorial and video content creation for the site and its top-rated Team Stream app. Brown joined Bleacher Report in 2008 as an assignment desk editor and has quickly risen through the ranks. Since July 2013, he was vice president of content operations and previously served as senior director of content operations from 2011-13 and director of programming from 2009-11.
“Rory has demonstrated a keen eye towards the creation and development of best-in-class content, as well as the creative packaging of it to drive engagement and a deeper connection with sports fans,” said Hong. “He will continue to strategically align the Bleacher Report brand with top content that best serves our passionate fan base at the teams and topics level.”