MSG Networks Hires Discovery-Vet David Schafer as SVP of Operations; Jerry Passaro To Retire

MSG Networks have hired David Schafer as Senior Vice President, Operations. Joining the management team of MSG Networks, Schafer will oversee production and technical strategy and engineering for the networks and be a key player in the design and development of new product offerings. Schafer will report to Andrea Greenberg, President and CEO, MSG Networks.

Schafer joins MSG Networks with more than two decades of sports production and Olympic broadcasting experience, which includes the last 13 years at Discovery. He most recently served as Group SVP, Sports Content and Production, where he led programming, content and production operations across linear and digital platforms for Discovery’s sports business across 54 countries and 23 languages.

Based in Paris, Schafer was responsible for executing Discovery’s coverage of marquee live sporting events including the Olympic Games, tennis Grand Slams, cycling Grand Tours, motor sports, various local football rights and more. In 2018, he successfully directed the complex planning and operational delivery of Discovery’s first ever Olympic Games in PyeongChang.

“David is one of the most accomplished and respected executives in the television industry and we are excited to welcome him to MSG Networks,” says Andrea Greenberg, President and CEO, MSG Networks. “David’s technical expertise and vast experience in sports production and new product development will set the network up for continued success, as we continue to build on on our legacy of broadcast innovation.”

Prior to overseeing production for Discovery’s European sports initiatives, Schafer led Discovery’s international digital business growth with a focus on Direct to Consumer, TV Everywhere, network websites and syndication. He directly oversaw all aspects of the company’s international digital real estate, from content creation and marketing to product and technology with teams based across the globe. When Eurosport joined Discovery in 2014, Schafer was responsible for growing the Eurosport Player, the company’s premium live and on-demand OTT service.

From 2000 to 2016, Schafer played a role in Olympic operations at NBC Universal, where he worked on eight Olympic Games and won four Emmy Awards for the network’s coverage in Beijing, London, Sochi and Rio. He also previously served as Vice President of Operations for Madison Square Garden, where he directed production management, rights management and technical operations for Fuse.

Schafer will be stepping into the position occupied by Jerry Passaro, the network’s current Senior Vice President of Networks and Technical Operations, who will be retiring at the end of December after a decorated 40 year career. A four-time Emmy winner, he has been integral to the network’s success and growth during his tenure at MSG Networks.

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