Monday afternoon, CSN Mid-Atlantic President and GM Rebecca Schulte announced that she is stepping down. Schulte, who spent more than 10 years at the station, will stay with CSN until a successor is named and in place.
In an email to her employees, Schulte cited wanting new challenges “professionally and personally” and wanting to spend more time with her family. Schulte has one son.
“Leaving, especially at this time, is very bittersweet,” Schulte wrote. “I am proud to have met and worked with so many talented and passionate professionals. Together we have made great strides over the past decade as a team. I will leave knowing the future is bright for our network and there are many successes and great moments ahead.
“It is time for me to pursue new goals and challenges, both professional and personally. It’s an opportunity for me to take a new path inn my career, one that allows me to have new experiences and learn new skills. It’s also a chance for me to refocus on non-work related passions, including my family.”
According to an email sent by David Preschlack, President of NBC Sports’ Regional Networks, Schulte expressed her desire to step down “a few months ago.”
“CSN Mid-Atlantic has experienced positive growth since Rebecca joined the network more than 10 years ago,” Preschlack wrote. “Most notably, she served in a major capacity in the local-rights deals with the Wizards and Capitals late last year, which features an innovative cross-equity partnership and future offerings in the new media and OTT space. Rebecca has enhanced the network with the increase of live-event coverage, while working to establish and expand our local team and league partnerships, including with the NHL’s Washington Capitals, NBA’s Washington Wizards, NFL’s Washington Redskins and the ACC.”
A source added that they believed the decision was hers alone to step down.
CSN Mid-Atlantic has been undergoing significant changes over the last few months. Several popular personalities, including Capitals reporter Jill Sorenson, were not brought back for next season. A source at CSN added that the company eliminated at least 12 positions (five in production and seven in studio) several weeks ago. On October 2, CSN Mid-Atlantic will complete a brand change and become NBC Sports Washington.
Monumental Sports & Entertainment, the Ted Leonsis-owned group that owns the Capitals and Wizards, holds an equity interest in CSN Mid-Atlantic. That deal was announced publicly on October 11, 2016, in a joint press conference by Leonsis and Schulte at Kettler Capitals Iceplex.
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 11, 2016
Before arriving in Bethesda, Schulte served as General Manager of Fox Sports Net Arizona from 2002 to 2005. According to her bio, Schulte served as Coordinating Producer for Best Damn Sports Show Period. She also oversaw the promotional launch of NASCAR on Fox Sports and Fox Sports Net and developing branding, marketing and media campaigns to promote Fox’s coverage of other marquee sporting events, including the NFL.
Schulte was named to the Broadcasting & Cable’s Women in the Game list of top sports television executives in 2014 and 2011, and inaugural class of the Sports Business Journal’s Game Changers: Women in Sports Business. She has been named to the CableFax Most Powerful Women in Cable and CableFax 100 regional list in each of the last seven years.
In their story announcing the news, Sports Business Daily called Schulte “one of the highest ranking women in sports media.”
Screenshot: Monumental Sports Network
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