Chernin Entertainment has partnered with former ESPN executive Connor Schell to launch a new unscripted content studio that will go beyond sports, the company announced Wednesday. Schell oversaw content at ESPN as an executive vice president until his departure early this year. Chernin Entertainment president Jenno Topping will also oversee the new venture.
At ESPN, Schell won a 2020 Emmy Award for his role in The Last Dance and previously won four Emmys for the network’s 30 for 30 series. During his tenure he led ESPN’s live-event coverage, studio programming and digital-content development, while also overseeing the company’s talent office. He started at ESPN in 2004 and had been an EVP since 2017.
“We are looking forward to collaborating with incredible storytellers to tell big, impactful stories of all kinds,” Schell said in a statement. “I can’t wait to get going.”
Chernin Entertainment has produced 25 films, including recent hits Ford v Ferrari, Hidden Figures and The Greatest Showman. Topping was listed as a producer on all three films, plus more than 30 others dating back to 1998.
Chernin Entertainment is owned by The Chernin Group, which has previously invested in sports media companies, including Barstool Sports, Action Network and The Athletic.
“Connor is by far one of the most prolific and talented producers of nonfiction storytelling and brings us a track record and instinct for creating culturally resonant and commercially viable content at a time when demand is high, and supply is low,” Chernin Entertainment CEO Peter Chernin said. “The opportunities to make a difference and reach audiences with important stories are endless.”