Steve Bornstein - Former CEO, ESPN & NFL Network

Company Culture

Steve Bornstein, Former CEO ESPN and Former CEO of NFL Network

Steve Bornstein was most recently the President and CEO of the NFL Network and was also the NFL’s Executive-Vice President of Media.  Prior to joining the NFL, Bornstein was the Chairman of ESPN, and also served as president of ABC While at ESPN, he organized putting SportsCenter reruns on during the morning hours. He joined ESPN in 1980 as manager of programming when the cable sports network was a four-month-old start-up. He advanced through the network’s programming and production ranks, becoming ESPN’s youngest president and CEO in 1990 at age 38. Three years later, he was given the additional title of corporate vice president of Capital Cities/ABC, Inc.

Summary Notes on Company Culture

  • Defining Culture
    • At ESPN, culture had 3 main tenets
      • What’s the mission?
      • What’s the brand?
      • Is the company true to the brand?
  • How did you prevent deterioration of culture?
    • Always being clear about the mission and understanding the mission
      • At ESPN, mission was serving the fan
  • How did you think about vetting candidates for a cultural fit?
    • Hard to be perfect here, but great strategy is to identify people with intelligence, ambition and integrity
  • R-E-S-P-E-C-T
    • To create a strong culture, it’s necessary to have respect for fellow employees