Sinclair Targets Gamification With Latest Exec Hire

J.R. McCabe (Image credit: Sinclair)

HUNT VALLEY, Md.—One of the nation’s largest broadcast station groups is increasing its focus on eSports, hiring a former executive of an eSports company to head up its gaming business. 

J.R. McCabe has been tapped to fill the newly-created role of Chief Business Officer of D2C/Gamification for Sinclair. In this capacity, Mr. McCabe will help oversee and build the company’s efforts around online, broadcast and venue “gamification.” 

“Throughout his career, J.R. has excelled at staying ahead of consumer trends, bringing together highly-skilled innovators to create new, engaging digital and live experiences,” said Sinclair President and CEO Chris Ripley. “His skill at conceptualizing and launching new and innovative business models at the intersection of media, sports and gaming will be an important component of Sinclair’s efforts to expand in a rapidly growing area. We look forward to his leadership in driving Sinclair’s direct-to-consumer growth opportunities in the years ahead.”

Most recently McCabe was chief business officer for a privately-held portfolio of gameplay and eSports businesses, Poker Central & Estars Studios. McCabe was also the senior vice president, head of Video for Time Inc., where he led the digital video business across 24 Time Inc. video brands, as well as senior level positions with Meredith Corporation, CBS Paramount and Universal Studios. 

“As a leader in the media space, with an unparalleled portfolio of assets, Sinclair’s strong content base and history of innovation and strategic thinking is the ideal match for my passion to build high-performing, high growth businesses in gaming,” McCabe said. “I look forward to the challenge of taking the potential of this great organization and helping it monetize the myriad opportunities the company has to drive future growth.”

In addition to the emerging legalized sports gambling market, McCabe is also expected to focus on STIRR, Sinclair’s free ad-supported streaming service that launched in the spring of 2019. STIRR’s lineup includes the ESR 24/7 eSports channel. Gaming TV Network VENN is also expected to join (opens in new tab) STIRR as well.   

This article was update Sept. 24 to update references from eSports to gaming. 

Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (, the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.