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ESPN taps Texas A&M's Michael Thompson Jr. to run SEC Network

By Michael Smith
Thompson Jr. will now oversee all aspects of programming, scheduling for SEC Network, Longhorn Networkespn

Texas A&M Deputy AD/External Relations & Business Development MICHAEL THOMPSON JR., who has helped shape the SEC Network for almost a decade from campus, is now going to be running the ESPN-owned channel. The veteran college administrator will now oversee all aspects of programming and scheduling for SEC Network and Longhorn Network. Thompson replaces STACIE MCCOLLUM, who joined DraftKings in February to become its head of programming. Thompson, whose title with ESPN will be VP/Programming & Acquisitions, will report to Senior VP/Programming & Acquisitions ILAN BEN-HANAN, and will be based at SEC Net HQ in Charlotte. In his new role, Thompson will serve as the point of contact for ESPN’s business with the SEC and will work directly with Commissioner GREG SANKEY and Deputy Commissioner CHARLIE HUSSEY. Among his responsibilities will be profits and losses, programming strategy, content acquisitions, live event scheduling and setting the long-term strategy for SEC Network. The conference’s official website,, also sits under that umbrella.

BRINGING THE EXPERIENCE: Before his three-year stint at A&M, Thompson held a similar role at Ole Miss for nine years, working with AD ROSS BJORK at both stops. Thompson, known for his expertise in media, data analytics and marketing, was the primary contact with the network, providing the campus perspective to ESPN leadership. He also has had ranking positions on a variety of conference-wide initiatives, which has increased and strengthened his connections across the league. Nationally, he recently served as the President of NACMA (National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators).

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