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Clinkscales leaves ESPN to be indie producer after department's shutdown
(October 15, 2011) Keith Clinkscales, senior vice president of ESPN's Content Development & Enterprise unit, is leaving the network after six years, it was reported and confirmed on Friday by Richard Prince of the blog Journal-isms.
A spokesperson for Clinkscales, Crystal Howard, said it was his decision, citing Clinkscales' entrepreneurial temperament. Clinkscales, 47, was president and CEO of Vibe magazine from 1993 to 1999 and launched Vanguarde Media, publishing Honey, Heart & Soul and Savoy magazines until the company folded in 2003. He was chairman and CEO.
Clinkscales will continue to have a relationship with ESPN in his new role as independent producer. "In the coming weeks, ESPN will make a more formal announcement regarding our continued relationship with Keith and his new production company," ESPN spokesman Rob Tobias told Journal-isms. "We've worked with Keith for a long time and appreciated all the good work he did here."
ESPN plans to shut down the Content Development department that Clinkscales had headed since 2007. Twenty to 25 jobs are to be "repurposed" to other areas of the company over the next 90 days.
Among the projects Clinkscales supervised was the award-winning "30 for 30," a series of 30 documentaries celebrating the 30th anniversary of ESPN. In 2008 Clinkscales established ESPN Films and oversaw the development of its Peabody Award-winning documentary 'Black Magic,' Spike Lee's 'Kobe Doin' Work,' and the documentary, "Fab Five."
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