Skip to main content

ASU News: Pac-12 Looks to Hire a New Media Consultant per Reports

The Mercury News is reporting that the Pac-12 will hire a new media consultant

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott is in hot water as the conference’s presidents and chancellors look into hiring a new media consultant for a major overhaul of the entire conference, according to Mercury News.

While the main focus of the proposed consultant is media, it could branch out farther to all aspects of the Pac-12.

According to an email obtained by Mercury News, Michael Schill wrote to Colorado chancellor Phil DiStefano and Washington president Ana Mari Cauce in June, “If it just were a media deal than (sic) any of the three might work. However, if it is the entire structure and composition of the PAC-12 as we discussed on the call, then I wonder whether consultants whose main experience is from the business world would be appropriate.”

For the past year, the presidents have been advised by four former Pac-12 graduates for informal advice on the conference’s media strategy. It was they who suggested hiring a consultant.

Media has been a low point of the conference. Pac-12 Network, Scott’s masterwork, has underperformed in revenue and viewership since its launch.

“The conference has to get an independent look at all this,” said a source familiar with the president’s discussions told Mercury News. “Someone who doesn’t report to Larry Scott; someone who reports to the executive committee.”

Television negotiations are reported to begin around 2022, the same year Scott’s contract ends.

Mercury News reports the top choice for the consultant job is the former head of Fox Sports Media Group, Fox Network Group, and, until next year, the chief executive of Hulu Randy Freer. In 2011, Freer led the Fox Sports negotiations with the conference and ESPN on an eventual Tier 1 deal.

“We believe his executive leadership experience at Hulu and Fox Sports, as well as his knowledge of the industry, makes him a viable candidate,’’ Sonsini, one of the advisors, wrote to DiStefano, the Colorado chancellor, according to Mercury News.

Scott has been commissioner since 2009 and has received high marks from campuses about his handling of the pandemic. However, only two members of the CEO Group who voted Scott in remain in the conference, UCLA’s Gene Block and ASU’s Michael Crow.