Chad Millman is leaving his post as Vice President, Editorial Director, Domestic Digital Content at ESPN and joining The Chernin Group, The Big Lead has learned from two people familiar with the matter. Unauthorized to speak publicly about Millman’s situation, they requested anonymity.
At The Chernin Group, it is expected that Millman will oversee an information and personality-driven gambling content platform. Do not be surprised if there is an acquisition announcement of an existing site or sites in the next week or two.
Millman has had two runs at ESPN, the most recent of which dates back to 2001. He rose to editor-in-chief of ESPN the Magazine in 2011 and had the same title for ESPN.com from 2014 until he was promoted to his editorial director position in 2016.
He has long been immersed in gambling coverage. He wrote The Odds, a book about a trio of gamblers and oddsmakers in Las Vegas. He has written and podcasted about gambling at ESPN for years, and created the website’s gambling beat.
The Chernin Group was founded in 2010 by former Fox executive Peter Chernin. The conglomerate produces movies (including “Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates” and three recent “Planet of the Apes” films), has investments in a number of tech companies, and last year acquired a majority stake in Barstool Sports.
This move by Millman is undoubtedly made with the presumption, or at least the hope, that there is widespread sports gambling legalization in the next year or two. We’ll learn a lot more when the Supreme Court decides on whether sports betting will be permitted in New Jersey.
If this venture with The Chernin Group can capture an audience, there will be no shortage of both existing gambling institutions and startups looking to spend advertising money to be associated with engaging personalities and/or reputable coverage if and when gambling is legalized.
It’s presumable there will be synergies with Barstool.
Millman did not respond to text messages seeking comment, and an ESPN spokesperson declined to comment.