Ross Levinsohn, Top American Media CEO

10-05-2021

Ross LevinsohnRoss Levinsohn is one of the top CEOs of American media, communications and technology businesses. His career began with a successful round of entrepreneurship in the mid- through late-1980s. He and another graduate of American University operated a busy production company. Levinsohn wanted to try another niche of media, so he accepted an offer from Time Warner Sports doing promotions in 1989. Knowing how much he loved production, he moved again, this time to SportsLine. There, he produced a talk show related to the NFL. It was syndicated for radio and television.

The rapid growth and adoption of the internet led Levinsohn to take a job with Alta Vista in 1999. He assisted with its planned portal launch, but the company scrapped the idea. Levinsohn looked elsewhere and was offered a fresh opportunity at Fox Interactive Sports Media. As a general manager at the organization, he organized daily happenings at its online properties. He rapidly expanded its reach, and soon he was promoted to Fox Interactive Media’s top position. He served as its CEO for two years.

Levinsohn couldn’t pull himself away from entrepreneurship. The bug bit again in 2006, and he and a fellow technology and media professional, James Heckman, started an ad agency together. Yahoo bought their digital advertising agency, called 5to1, in 2010. Yahoo brought Levinsohn in as an executive, but Heckman had other plans. Levinsohn eventually filled a temporary CEO role at Yahoo. It wasn’t long before he founded two additional businesses. He was also recruited to lead a variety of other media companies, including the online portion of Tribune Corporation and the Los Angeles Times.

James Heckman contacted Ross Levinsohn in 2019 about an opportunity at his firm, Maven. In the nine years since Levinsohn and Heckman sold their business together, Heckman had founded and built Maven into a huge media empire. By 2019, it owned 300 popular sites and publications. Heckman put Levinsohn in charge of its newest property, Sports Illustrated Media. Just a few months later, Heckman announced his plans to retire. Ross Levinsohn became the second CEO of Maven in August 2020.

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