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FILE - This Sept. 16, 2013, file photo shows the ESPN logo prior to an NFL football game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Pittsburgh Steelers, in Cincinnati. Former longtime ESPN college football analyst Ed Cunningham told The New York Times for an article published Aug. 30, 2017, that he left the network in part out of concern over injuries to players, especially brain trauma. (AP Photo/David Kohl, File)

ESPN President John Skipper resigned due to a 'substance addiction' problem


ESPN President John Skipper announced Monday that he has resigned due to a "substance addiction" problem.

"I have struggled for many years with a substance addiction," Skipper said in a statement. "I have decided that the most important thing I can do right now is to take care of my problem."

Skipper said he had "disclosed" his decision to ESPN, and "we mutually agreed that it was appropriate that I resign."

He asked for "appropriate privacy and a little understanding" as he deals with his addiction issue.

Former ESPN President and Executive Chairman George Bodenheimer will serve as acting chair for the next 90 days and oversee the "transition process." Bodenheimer worked at ESPN from 1981 to 2014.

Walt Disney Company Chairman and CEO Bob Iger wished Skipper well "during this challenging time."

"I respect his candor and support his decision to focus on his health and his family," Iger said.

ESPN laid off "approximately 150" staff members in late November. The networks had laid off about 100 employees in the spring, including on-air personalities John Clayton and Trent Dilfer.

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