The National Football League and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell announced that veteran media executive Mary Ann Turcke has been named President, Digital Media and NFL Network.

Turcke has served since April 2015 as President of Bell Media, a division of Bell Canada, where she successfully led Canada’s largest media company and was responsible for their flagship television channels and annual revenues of more than $3B (CAD). She will be based in the league’s Los Angeles office, reporting to NFL EVP of Media Brian Rolapp.

As President, Digital Media and NFL Network, Turcke will be responsible for leading the operations of the NFL Network, as well as overseeing NFL owned and operated media assets including NFL Films, NFL Digital and NFL.com. Turcke will also oversee digital product development and execute against the NFL’s content strategy and roadmap.

“We are delighted to have an individual of Mary Ann’s talent and expertise joining the NFL to lead the NFL Network, NFL Films and our digital and technology groups across the organization,” Goodell told the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and USA Today. “Mary Ann has distinguished herself throughout her career, not only managing the complicatedbroadcast operations of Bell Media but also growing their media sales and leading their telecommunications and IT services. I am confident that our teams in Los Angeles, New Jersey and New York will greatly benefit from the breadthof her experience and her vision for the future.”

“I am thrilled to be joining the NFL, one of the greatest and most exciting brands in the world,” Turcke said. “I feel fortunate to be given the opportunity to lead this team and work closely with  Brian to focus and grow the NFL Network, NFL Films, NFL.com and our digital and technology assets.”

Turcke has spent 12 years at Bell Canada, where prior to being named President of Bell Media she served as Group President, Media Sales, Local TV and Radio, where she leveraged Bell Media properties and brands across all platforms to support their strong position in the competitive marketplace.

Prior to her time at Bell Media, Turcke was Executive Vice President, Field Operations for Bell Canada. In that role, she was responsible for the construction and management of Bell Canada’s telecommunications services, including all of their residential and business customers. Previous to that, Turcke was Vice President, Customer Experience, Small Medium Business, responsible for customer service operations, sales support and IT functions.

Earlier in her career, Turcke was a partner and member of the Board of Directors at Codesta LLC, a software consultancy group that specializes in enterprise applications and solutions.

Mrs. Turcke is on the board of the SickKids Foundation, Toronto Argonauts GP Incorporated and Greenwood College School. She holds a Bachelor of Civil Engineering from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada, a Master of Engineering from the University of Toronto and a Master of Business Administration from Queen’s University.

In other NFL News…

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell named Dr. Allen Sill as the NFL’s Chief Medical Officer (CMO), a new full-time position based in New York.

Dr. Sills joins the NFL from Vanderbilt University Medical Center where he serves as Professor of Neurological Surgery, Orthopaedic Surgery and Rehabilitation and Founder and Co-Director of the Vanderbilt Sports Concussion Center.

Dr. Sills, a neurosurgeon who has specialized in the treatment of athletes, will strengthen the NFL’s ongoing efforts to advance the health and safety of the sport. He will work closely with team medical staffs across the league, the NFL Players Association and its advisors and the many medical and scientific experts who comprise the NFL’s medical committees and guide the NFL’s health and research efforts.

“There is no higher priority for the NFL than player health and safety and we continually seek to raise our standards and then surpass them,” said Commissioner Goodell. “We sought a highly-credentialed physician and leader with experience as a clinician and researcher, and Dr. Sills’ extensive experience caring for athletes makes him the right choice for this important position.”

“We conducted an intensive international search which included many leading experts in sports medicine,” said Dr. John York, Co-chairman, San Francisco 49ers and Chairman of the NFL Owners’ Health and Safety Advisory Committee. “Dr. Sills stood out among the highly credentialed and qualified applicants.”

The appointment follows a rigorous search conducted by a premier panel of health and medical experts led by Dr. Betsy Nabel, Chief Health and Medical Advisor to the NFL and President of Brigham Health and including Dr. Rob Heyer, President of the NFL Physicians Society and Team Internist for the Carolina Panthers, Ronnie Barnes, Senior Vice President, Medical Services and Head Athletic Trainer for the New York Giants, Dr. Robert Cantu, Clinical Professor of Neurosurgery and Co-Director, Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy, Boston University School of Medicine and Peter Foss of GE Healthcare.

The panel worked closely with Dr. John York and and Jeff Miller, NFL Executive Vice President of Health and Safety Initiatives. The NFL consulted with the NFL Players Association, including interviewing the final candidates. Dr. Sills will be reporting to Miller.

“I have been impressed by the talent and experience of the candidates I have met during this process,” said Dr. Nabel. “Dr. Sills has years of experience on the frontlines of both research and patient care and I am confident that Dr. Sills will use this platform to continue his work to improve sports health and safety in the NFL and for all athletes.”

“Hiring Dr. Sills is a touchdown for the NFL,” Dr. Cantu told USA Today and the Associated Press. “He is an international leader for his work on concussions in sports. I look forward to working with him to further advance the NFL’s ongoing commitment to the health and safety of sports.”

Throughout his distinguished career, Dr. Sills has worked with numerous professional and collegiate sports programs. In addition to providing care for players on NFL sidelines as an Unaffiliated Neurotrauma Consultant, he has served as a neurological consultant to the NCAA and the International Equestrian Foundation (FEI). He has also worked as consulting neurosurgeon for the NBA’s Memphis Grizzlies, the NHL’s Nashville Predators, the US Equestrian Foundation and all Vanderbilt University, Belmont University and Mississippi State University athletic teams.

“Allen Sills is an exceptional leader who will bring the perspective of a practicing neurosurgeon to this important position,” said Dr. Reid Thompson, Chairman of the Department of Neurological Surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “He is an avid athlete and gifted surgeon with a passion for the care of elite athletes. With a combination of energy, vision and absolute integrity he is an inspired choice to become the first Chief Medical Officer of the NFL.”

Dr. Sills is an active researcher who has published more than 150 scientific articles and presentations including more than 40 in the last five years on the topic of sports concussion. He is a member of the Concussion in Sport Group, which publishes international standards regarding concussion in sport. Dr. Sills is also a fellow of the American Board of Neurological Surgery and the American College of Surgeons and currently serves as Section Editor for Sports and Rehabilitation for the journal Neurosurgery.

Previously, Dr. Sills has served as Founder and Executive Director, Memphis Regional Brain Tumor Center; Director of the Neuroscience Institute at Methodist University Hospital, Memphis; Associate Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, College of Medicine at the University of Tennessee, Memphis and the Semmes-Murphey Clinic; and Chief, Division of Neurosurgery at the Memphis Veterans Affairs Medical Center.

Dr. Sills graduated summa cum laude from Mississippi State University with a degree in engineering and received his medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland, where he also completed his internship in General Surgery, his residency training in Neurological Surgery and an NIH-funded Neuro-Oncology Fellowship.

Dr. Sills and his wife Shawne live in Tennessee and have four children. He serves on the Board of Directors for Make-A-Wish Foundation of Middle Tennessee, the Heritage Foundation of Franklin and Williamson County Tennessee and has served as a youth baseball coach for more than 20 years.

About Play Smart. Play Safe.: In September 2016, Commissioner Goodell launched Play Smart. Play Safe.—an initiative to drive progress in the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of head injuries, enhance medical protocols and further improve the way the game is taught and played. As part of the initiative, the NFL and its 32 club owners pledged $100 million to help spur independent medical research and engineering advancements. For more information about the initiative, please visit http://www.PlaySmartPlaySafe.com.

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