Dave Finocchio comes back as CEO of Bleacher Report

Steven Loeb · January 13, 2016 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/42a4

Finocchio had stepped down in 2014 to found Binge Media, which has now been bought by Turner

Digital sports blog Bleacher Report has done through a lot of executive shuffling ever since it was acquired by Turner Broadcasting in 2012, going through three CEOs in three years. Now one of them is back to take the lead again, hoping to lead the company into the future. 

Dave Finocchio has been appointed as CEO, it was announced on Wednesday. The company's founder, Finocchio had also been in charge of the company in 2013, before stepping back from day-to-day responsibilities in 2014, taking on a senior advisory role instead.

With his return comes more shuffling at the top, as Rory Brown, he company's Chief Content Officer, has been promoted to President of Bleacher Report, where he will oversee all operations for the division.

Finocchio will report to Matt Hong, Executive Vice President and General Manager, Turner Sports. In a statement, Hong called Finocchio "the original visionary behind the creation of Bleacher Report."

“There is nobody better to lead Bleacher Report into its next chapter of growth and extend the brand into new adjacencies. We’re privileged and honored to have him return to Turner in a full-time capacity, and we’re also excited to leverage his expertise across additional parts of our company’s portfolio," he said.

Finocchio is the fourth CEO that Bleacher Report will have had in the last four years. When the company was acquired it was being run by Brian Grey, who left the company in November 2013, after which Finocchio took over. When Finocchio left his job, it went to Dorth Raphael, then its VP of Programming, Analytics, & Quality Control, who became General Manager. He had been in charge since October 2014. 

Raphael's name was absent from any mention on the press release, and a spokesperson for Bleacher Report has confirmed to VatorNews that he is no longer with the company. 

Founded in 2007, Bleacher Report’s Team Stream app averaged 230 minutes of consumption per unique each month, making it number among all sports apps reaching men aged 18 to 34. The site also now sees more engagement across Twitter, Facebook and Instagram than any other publisher in the U.S. 

The company had raised over $40 million in venture funding from investors that included Crosslink Capital, Hillsven Capital, Oak Investment Partners, SoftTech VC and Transcoast Capital.

As part of the deal for Finocchio to come back, Turner also agreed to buy his startup, Binge Media, a podcast network featuring commentaries, TV and movie commentaries, filmmaking, music and sports that he had started in 2015. No financial details of that transaction were disclosed. 

New CEOs in 2016

There have already been three CEO turnovers this year, and, interestingly, all of them have seen founders of their respective companies taking over.

Last week mobile messaging app Tango announced that it was replacing its longtime CEO Uri Raz with co-foundr and CTO Eric Setton, and just yesterday Indian e-commerce company Flipkart revealed that Binny Bansal, its COO and Co-founder of Flipkart, will become its Chief Executive Officer. 

(Image source: usatoday.com)

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Bleacher Report is where the sports bar meets the press box, the place where fan-journalists create and critique high-quality sports analysis.

Technology has leveled the sports media playing field, and now more than ever before, sports fans around the world have the ability and inclination to be sports pundits. It's Bleacher Report's mission to give them the skills and tools to do just that.

You won't find "unbiased" coverage at Bleacher Report—and that's the point. Every contribution bears the stamp of its writer's personal convictions.

Bleacher Report is all about community. No one goes it alone. Each submission is edited and rated by the Bleacher Report user-base, allowing individual writers to hone their skills and ensuring that the best analysis gets featured on the site.

Every Bleacher Report article is also a catalyst for discussion and debate. No opinion gets a free pass—and the exchange is as lively as it is free-ranging. At Bleacher Report, you can say whatever you want. The only catch is that you have to be able to back it up.

While Bleacher Report emphasizes inclusiveness, we know that quality matters. That's why our reputation system, Writer Rankings, aims to distinguish the best of the best, by recognizing Top Writers who...

1. Contribute great analysis by writing and publishing their own articles;
2. Improve the network by editing and rating the articles of their peers;
3. Build fanbases by engaging with and responding to the community.

Those who do make it to the higher levels of the Top Writer Rankings are rewarded with more visibility on the network, and greater odds of their work reaching the Front Page.

The net result is a vibrant sports media outlet suffused with a spirit of competitive camaraderie, where expert fans collaborate to produce passionate, polished sportswriting.
We call it the Open Source Sports Network.