Huge change to WWE programming.
According to Justin Barrasso of Sports Illustrated, Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff have been named the new Executive Directors of WWE television. Heyman will lead Monday Night Raw while Bischoff heads SmackDown Live. Both men will still report to WWE CEO Vince McMahon. Bischoff will also work with FOX executives as SmackDown is set to move to FOX in October.
WWE NAMES PAUL HEYMAN AND ERIC BISCHOFF
Stamford, Conn., June 27, 2019 – WWE (NYSE: WWE) today announced that it has named Paul Heyman as Executive Director of Monday Night Raw and Eric Bischoff as Executive Director of SmackDown Live, newly created positions reporting directly to WWE Chairman & CEO Vince McMahon.
In their executive roles, Heyman and Bischoff will oversee the creative development of WWE’s flagship programming and ensure integration across all platforms and lines of business. The creation of these roles further establishes WWE’s ability to continuously reinvent its global brand while providing two distinct creative processes for its flagship shows.
With more than 30 years of experience in the sports entertainment industry, Heyman served as President of ECW from 1993-2001, securing pay-per-view distribution for the company as well as a national cable television deal with TNN. After his time with ECW, Heyman joined WWE’s Creative team and is widely credited with helping launch the careers of many current and former WWE Superstars.
Bischoff is a former WCW President and New York Times bestselling author. During his WCW career, Bischoff oversaw the signing of some of the biggest names in sports entertainment and helped create and develop the NWO storyline. He was also instrumental in securing a television deal for WCW Monday Nitro on TNT and WCW Thunder on TBS. After WCW, Bischoff co-founded Bischoff-Hervey Entertainment, a production company that launched TV reality shows and mobile games.
The roles are reportedly full-time executive positions with no plans to be introduced on television as part of a storyline. Heyman currently occupies a television role as the advocate/manager for Brock Lesnar. Bischoff has not appeared on WWE television in a full-time capacity since 2005. PWInsider reports that WWE offered Heyman a full-time spot as a top member of the creative team in February, around the time Bruce Prichard was brought back.
Heyman has lent his creative expertise to WWE in recent times, overseeing much of Ronda Rousey's run in the company. Longtime fans will remember Heyman as the leader of Extreme Championship Wrestling from 1993 to 2001 and head of SmackDown creative during the famous SmackDown Six era in 2002.
Despite not holding a position in wrestling since leaving IMPACT in 2013, Bischoff helped guide World Championship Wrestling in the Monday Night Wars against WWE in the 90s and early 2000s and is one of the most influential figures in wrestling history. PWInsider says the deal with Bischoff came together in the last several weeks.
There are conflicting reports on when Heyman and Bischoff will begin their new roles. Dave Meltzer said on Wrestling Observer Radio that they will start “imminently" but did not have a firm date. However, Ryan Satin of Pro Wrestling Sheet reports that the two will "slowly assimilate into their new roles before being given full control to oversee the creative development of their shows."
Meltzer also reports that FOX did not know this change was happening but noted that they wanted Heyman over Bischoff.