Looks like Jamie Horowitz, an influential ESPN VP once called "the midwife of Bristol's 'Embrace Debate' era" in these pages, will be leaving for NBC after all. New York Times media reporter Bill Carter tweeted this morning that Horowitz, who'd apparently sulked through his last few months at ESPN after being denied in his first attempt to flee to the Peacock, will be named senior vice president and general manager of the troubled Today show.
At ESPN, Horowitz had a hand in the personality-driven side of the network's programming. He retooled the depressingly influential shout show First Take, created the infinitely more compelling Olbermann, and oversaw SportsNation and Numbers Never Lie.
Rumors first surfaced in January that he had been offered the Today gig and wanted it. Horowitz had ties to NBC that predate his ESPN run: His online resume begins with a stint as a peon at the network, where he put in two years as a researcher and bio writer for the network's Olympics coverage.
But Horowitz's bosses wouldn't let him take the job with Today, which has been getting the ratings crap beat out of it morning after morning by Good Morning America on ABC, ESPN's corporate sibling. In response, according to a source, Horowitz engaged in an epic sulk, taking a de facto hiatus from ESPN. Given today's news, it seems to have gotten Horowitz where he wanted to go. If you know there's more to the story, email me.