Connor Schell, Senior Vice President and Executive Producer, Original Content, is responsible for the award-winning ESPN Films group, ESPN Audio including the nation’s largest sports radio network – ESPN Radio, ESPN’s Talent Office, and the development of new content across ESPN’s networks. Schell oversees management of ESPN’s opinion-based studio shows (Pardon the Interruption, Around the Horn, Highly Questionable, Mike & Mike, First Take, Jalen & Jacoby and SportsNation), and NBA studio shows (NBA Countdown and The Jump). Additionally, Schell serves as one of the executive producers of ESPN’s annual awards show, The ESPYS.
Schell is the executive producer and co-creator of the Emmy-, Oscar- and Peabody Award-winning 30 for 30 documentary series and the Emmy-winning 30 for 30 Shorts digital series. Schell also served as a producer and executive producer of the Academy Award-winning film “O.J.: Made in America,” which premiered to critical acclaim in 2016.
He earned Emmy Awards in 2015 and 2016, two Emmy Awards in 2014, and a Peabody Award in 2010 – all for the 30 for 30 series. Additionally, ESPN Films’ “Black Magic” (on which Schell was an Executive Producer) received a Peabody Award in 2008, and the 30 for 30 “The 16th Man” received the prestigious Television Academy Honors Award in 2010. 30 for 30 has also won awards at the NAACP Image Awards, the IDA Awards, the Webby Awards and the prestigious Edward R Murrow Awards. “O.J.: Made in America” was honored as 2016’s best documentary by the National Board of Review, the IDA, the Gotham Awards, the Independent Spirit Awards, the NY Film Critic’s Awards, and it won Best Documentary Feature at the 2017 Academy Awards. As a producer of the film, Schell was also a recipient of a DuPont Award for Journalism.
Schell’s purview extends through The Walt Disney Company as an executive producer of the studio film Million Dollar Arm in 2014 and as an executive producer for the first ESPN Films-branded feature film from Disney – Queen of Katwe starring David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o. Additionally, Schell co-created and serves as executive producer for the Disney XD series Becoming (also executive produced by LeBron James and Maverick Carter).
In 2012, 2016 and 2017, Schell was named one of Sports Business Journal’s “Forty Under 40” as well as Multichannel News’ 2012 Class of “40 Under 40.”
Before being promoted to his current position, Schell was vice president and executive producer of ESPN Films, and served as executive producer of the 30 for 30 series from 2007-2013. Previously, he was senior director, program development, ESPN Original Entertainment – where he handled the general development of documentaries and scripted/unscripted series. Schell joined ESPN in 2004 as director, programming strategy.
Schell earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in History from Harvard University and a Master in Business Administration with a focus in Media and Entertainment from Columbia University. He lives in New York with his wife and three children.