WWE Hires Ad Executive To Be Its New President -- WSJ
By Joe Flint
This article is being republished as part of our daily
reproduction of WSJ.com articles that also appeared in the U.S.
print edition of The Wall Street Journal (August 6, 2020).
World Wrestling Entertainment Inc. hired Nick Khan of Creative
Artist Agency as its new president and chief revenue officer, the
company said Wednesday.
Mr. Khan is no stranger to the WWE. As CAA's co-head of
television, he negotiated the company's 2019 television pacts with
Fox Corp.'s Fox and Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal, deals that bring
in annual rights fees of $468 million through 2024.
WWE is looking for Mr. Khan to fill the void left by the
departures earlier this year of co-presidents George Barrios and
Michelle Wilson after clashing with Chairman and Chief Executive
Vince McMahon. At the time of their resignations, Mr. McMahon said,
"the board and I decided a change was necessary as we have
different views on how best to achieve our strategic
Among the priorities for Mr. Khan are a new Middle Eastern
television-rights deal and a potential sale of the WWE Network
streaming service, which Mr. McMahon said last year was under
In a statement Mr. McMahon said Mr. Khan has a "deep
understanding of our business" and that his "management style and
personal demeanor are perfect for WWE's entrepreneurial
WWE is facing several challenges. The coronavirus has meant no
audiences at WWE's television shows, and ratings have fallen as a
result. In addition, All Elite Wrestling, a new competitor whose
content is carried by AT&T Inc.'s TNT network, has gotten off
to a strong start.
"We once thought of WWE as a rare content gem in the media
ecosystem, benefiting from the ever increasing value for live
content," said Wells Fargo analyst Steven Cahall in a recent
report. "Unfortunately, content rights values have come in a bit
more modest and investments remain higher."
In an interview, Mr. Khan said he decided to make the jump to
WWE as a result of his deepening friendship with Mr. McMahon and
his daughter Stephanie McMahon, who also holds a senior operating
role at the company.
"The relationship materialized from purely professional with
collective success together to a personal warm relationship as
well," Mr. Khan said. He declined to comment on what his priorities
would be in his new role.
Mr. Khan has been a lifelong fan of the WWE and even served as
an usher at a Wrestlemania event in college. As the son of Iranian
immigrants, Mr. Khan said he grew up a fan of the WWE's "The Iron
"I have a full appreciation of the WWE with very little
understanding of anyone who does not," he said.
Mr. Khan comes from a show-business family. His sister,
Nahnatchka Khan, created the ABC comedy "Fresh Off the Boat" and is
producing a new NBC series "Young Rock" about the childhood of
Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson, who will also appear in the show.
Besides the WWE, Mr. Khan had several high-profile clients at
CAA including college football's Southeastern Conference and
popular sports TV hosts Colin Cowherd and Mike Greenberg.
Write to Joe Flint at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
August 06, 2020 02:47 ET (06:47 GMT)
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