“Marie possesses that rare combination of strategic business acumen and creative content development skills,” Skipper said. “Her expertise will be instrumental as ESPN continues to evolve.”
Having managed ESPN’s global strategy, business affairs and business development since 2012, Donoghue’s portfolio has expanded to include the management of ESPN Films since 2012 and more recently FiveThirtyEight, Nate Silver’s award-winning website, since it was acquired by ESPN earlier this year.
Donoghue’s responsibilities include oversight of the Business Affairs, Business Development and Gaming & Business Partnerships groups. Additionally, in March, ESPN formed Exit 31, which consolidated ESPN Films, FiveThirtyEight and Grantland into one group under Donoghue’s leadership. Exit 31 delivers a multi-platform offering of subjects, formats and editorial approaches that complement ESPN’s already expansive storytelling in new and different ways. Recently, the group was recognized with a Sports Emmy for 30 for 30 and a Primetime Emmy for 30 for 30 Shorts. Other Exit 31 initiatives include 30 for 30 Soccer Stories, INSIDE: U.S. Soccer’s March to Brazil, Nine for IX with espnW and the 2013 and 2014 ESPYs. This October, Exit 31 will produce The Grantland Basketball Show, a new primetime NBA show featuring Bill Simmons.
Donoghue first joined ESPN in 1998 from Starwave Ventures, the company that produced ESPN’s early Internet products. In 2007, Marie was promoted to senior vice president, business affairs and business development. She was promoted to senior vice president, global strategy and business affairs and business development in January 2012, where she has been responsible for identifying and evaluating new business opportunities, acquiring and renewing program rights agreements, including major league deals with the NFL, NBA and MLB, and developing ESPN’s long-term growth strategies.
In 2014 Variety named Donoghue to its New York Impact List. She was also recognized by Advertising Age and Advertising Women of New York as a ‘Woman to Watch.’
Prior to joining ESPN, Donoghue was an associate for the Wall Street law firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam & Roberts in New York and Hong Kong and spent two years as senior director of legal affairs for PolyGram Holdings Inc., the parent company of Island Records, Def Jam Recordings, Mercury Records, and A&M Records.
A New York City native and resident, Donoghue earned a bachelor of arts in economics from Columbia College and a law degree from Columbia University.