Pac-12 Networks Bolsters Production, Adds Industry Vet Jonathan Leess
Pac-12 Networks has appointed Jonathan Leess as Senior Vice President of Production Planning and Operations.
In his new role, Leess will be responsible for the sports network’s production operations for over 750 remote and 200 studio television productions, overseeing long-range planning, event budgets, logistics, vendor negotiations, staffing, as well as the full engineering, facilities, transmissions and systems departments.
The 30-plus year industry veteran has held senior production and advanced television posts at ABC, Walt Disney and CBS among others. He has a strong digital background from his time at CBS where he was President and General Manager of CBS Television Stations Digital Media Group. In that post, Leess was responsible for CBS’s 29 owned television stations’ Internet, wireless, broadband and digital content distribution businesses. The group’s initial focus was to transform each of CBS’s traditional local broadcast television station’s into 24/7, “always-on,” local news, content and community portals across all available digital distribution ‘fixed and mobile’ platforms.
Recognized as an early pioneer of convergent media programming, Leess created and managed ABC’s Enhanced Television division at Disney/ABC as Senior Vice President and General Manager from 1999-2001. There he oversaw all business development, production, technology and integrated sales for the division, a joint initiative of The Walt Disney Internet Group and the ABC Television Network focused on the emerging interactive television business. Under his direction, the division created real-time, perfectly synchronized, interactive television programming products for the network including ABC’s “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire,” The Super Bowl, The Academy Awards, Monday Night Football, College Football’s BCS Championship, ABC News’ Presidential Election coverage, “The View” and the Primetime Emmy Awards.
Prior to Disney’s acquisition of ABC in 1996, Leess was Vice President of Multimedia & Interactive Programming for ABC Sports, spearheading the expansion of the Sports division into the new era of online and interactive programming and gaming. Some of Leess’ projects included online sites for ABC’s Monday Night Football, ABC’s Wide World of Sports, NFL, NHL, NASCAR and ABC Sports programming on America Online.
He founded the media consulting firm DoubleVision Media in 2003.