ROSEMONT, Ill. — The Big Ten has selected who will be the next commissioner of the conference.
According to ESPN’s Pete Thamel, the conference will hire Tony Petitti, a former senior-level executive for Major League Baseball, MLB Network, ABC, and CBS Sports, among others.
The move to go with Petitti comes as the Big Ten is set to embark on a new multi-billion-dollar media deal, massively expanding the coverage — and revenue — the conference will receive in an ever-changing college sports landscape.
Petitti attended Haverford College in Pennsylvania where he majored in economics before going on to graduate from Harvard Law School. After spending two years working for a law firm, Petitti joined ABC Sports in 1988 as a general attorney.
From there, he was promoted to vice president of programming before joining CBS Sports in 1997, working in a variety of senior leadership roles until April 2008, when he left CBS to become the head of MLB Network.
Seven years after hopping on to lead MLB Network, Petitti succeeded Rob Manfred as Chief Operating Officer of Major League Baseball in 2015, a position he vacated when Manfred took baseball’s top job as commissioner.
According to Thamel, Petitti is currently serving as Co-CEO of The 33rd Team, a quasi football-related think tank and media organization founded by Mike Tannenbaum.
The man Petitti is replacing — Kevin Warren — notified the Big Ten he was leaving back in early-mid January to take a job with the Chicago Bears as president and CEO of the organization, beginning April 17.