WASHINGTON — One week after he laid off nearly the entire digital writing staff at Fox Sports in a shift of resources toward video, Jamie Horowitz is out as the company’s national networks president. Sports Business Journal’s John Ourand first reported the news and shared the following internal e-mail from Fox Sports president Eric Shanks:
‘‘I regret to inform you that Jamie Horowitz, President of National Networks for FOX Sports, will be leaving FOX Sports effective immediately. We realize this news may come as a surprise for many of you, but we are confident in this decision.
‘‘Everyone at FOX Sports, no matter what role we play, or what business, function or show we contribute to — should act with respect and adhere to professional conduct at all times. These values are non-negotiable.
‘‘Until Jamie’s replacement is named, I am stepping in to handle his former responsibilities including programming, marketing and scheduling for FS1 and FS2, as well as digital. All of these functions will now report directly to me.
‘‘We understand how difficult this will be for many of you, but in these times it is important that we remain unwavering and focused in continuing the great work of FOX Sports.
The reasons for Horowitz’s departure are unclear, but his bio has already been removed from the Fox Sports website and the Hollywood Reporter reports that Horowitz has hired Patty Glaser to represent him. In an e-mail obtained by Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch, Fox Sports said it would have ‘‘no further comment at this time’’ about Horowitz’s departure.
Fox Sports hired Horowitz as its programming chief in May 2015, six months after the longtime ESPN executive was fired as general manager of NBC’s ‘‘Today’’ show. During his time at Fox Sports, he canceled the network’s ‘‘Fox Sports Live’’ studio show and focused on hiring polarizing personalities, such as Colin Cowherd, Jason Whitlock, and Skip Bayless.
In a memo sent to staffers last week, Horowitz announced ‘‘a plan to put the editorial strength and technical infrastructure of Fox Sports fully behind digital video.’’ The move resulted in the elimination of about 20 writing and editing positions.