Meadowlark Media will name Gary Hoenig executive editor, reporting to CEO John Skipper, The Big Lead has learned. Hoenig, who has a storied career spanning decades in print and new media, will oversee the company's content arm and serve as an advisor on talent decisions and existing projects.
Most recently executive director of The Players' Tribune, Hoenig was a founding member of ESPN The Magazine and was the longtime editor-in-chief, during which time he served as a mentor to Dan Le Batard.
"This really feels like a place that is about content and creatives," Hoenig said of Meadowlark. "We're trying to represent creatives in the best possible way. The way I describe it is you're extracting the idea from the means which it's distributed. What is the best way to take your idea and develop it in as many ways as possible to make you fulfilled both financially and creatively?"
This echoes the vision laid out by Skipper last month: "What we're going to do across all genres of sports is try to create best-in-class content. Whether that be your radio show [or] a television show. Could be scripted and unscripted, reality or dramatic, or comedic episodic content. [It] could be documentaries, could be feature stories, could be books. We want wherever great stories are, we want to tell them in a multitude of genres."
Reconnecting with Skipper and Le Batard and connecting with a still-growing staff carries with it a feeling of things coming full-circle. Hoenig spoke on the attractiveness of the opportunity.
"The chance to mentor younger, creative people in our business delights me," he said. "It's what I like the most. And what better opportunity than to do it with some people who have been my professional friends for this long?"
One of Hoenig's goals is to establish a recognizable voice. Much as a viewer recognizes a DreamWorks or Pixar product, getting them to feel the ethos of a Meadowlark project would be the status of success.
"You want to say this is the kind of stuff we do, whatever that is. It's not just quality, it's a certain point of view about sports that's different. We want to be distinctive."
The news comes on the heels of the most active month in the company's short history. Bimal Kapadia was named chief operations officer and Laura Albero took on the role of chief financial officer.
Adnan Virk, Jemele Hill, Michael Schur, Adam McKay, and Hank Azaria have all come aboard in some capacity over the past month. On Monday it was revealed Jess Smetana was leaving Sports Illustrated to join Le Batard in the South Beach studios.