Chuck Pagano, an engineer who has led ESPN to develop a long list of technical innovations and industry firsts — from live HD and 3-D broadcasting to virtual interviews and remote master control operations — has been named Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer at the all-sports network.
Pagano was hired as a technical director in 1979 (prior to the first telecast) and was the 25th employee to join the network when it launched 32 years ago. He will now “take on an expanded strategic role that will leverage his unique combination of experience, expertise and intellectual curiosity,” according to George Bodenheimer, President ESPN and ABC Sports.
In his new role, Pagano will lead all of ESPN’s core technical functions and operations including distribution, transmission, engineering, IT, software development, technology innovation and strategic technology forecasting across all areas of the company. He will also take on a larger role in major technology initiatives across ESPN and the broader Disney enterprise.
“I have seen this company grow and change,” Pagano said, “but the one constant has always been to embrace new technology to better serve our fans.”
Among his many achievements, Pagano has expanded ESPN’s push to the West coast when the company opened its new Los Angeles Production Center (the world’s first 1080p HD facility) in April 2009. He was also the key driver in the creation of ESPN’s Bristol, CT-based “Digital Center.” The center is considered one of the most technically sophisticated television production facilities and was the production site of the network’s early HD services, ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD.
A native of Waterbury, CT, Pagano received a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1984 and a Master of Science degree in organizational psychology in 2007, both from the University of Hartford.