Pac-12 Networks President Lydia Murphy-Stephans
Known for her creativity and business acumen, Lydia Murphy-Stephans is one of the media industry’s most versatile executives, bringing an expansive leadership background to collegiate athletics as President of the Pac-12 Networks, a cutting edge integrated media and content company that includes seven Pac-12 linear networks and the Pac-12 digital network.
As head of the Pac-12 Networks, Murphy-Stephans is responsible for overseeing the development and management of the new networks, including programming, production, operations, creative services, advertising sales, sponsorship and distribution. She is also responsible for creating and executing a strategy to extend Pac-12 programming to international audiences, where the Conference already enjoys wide recognition for the quality of its athletic competition and for the prestige of its member universities’ academic and research programs.
Murphy-Stephans joined the Pac-12 Networks in December 2011 as Executive Vice President and General Manager and, in less than nine months, helped lead the highly successful launch of the networks on August 15, 2012. Behind her direction, the groundbreaking Pac-12 Networks produced 550 live sporting events and more than 500 hours of shoulder programming in its first 10 months, more original content than any sports network has ever produced in its first year. She was elevated to President of the Networks April 19, 2013.
During a remarkable career that includes leadership roles in worldwide network television and both national and regional cable networks, Murphy-Stephans has received numerous honors for her contributions to business, television and sports, including 24 Emmy Awards.
Murphy-Stephans began her career as a news producer for WLUC-TV. In 1986, she joined ABC Sports to work on the networks coverage of the 1988 Winter Olympic Games. Eight years later, she became the Vice President of Programming and Acquisitions. In this capacity, she negotiated for the worldwide media rights to events, created original programming and oversaw ABC’s flagship anthology series, ABC’s Wide World of Sports. In 1995, Murphy-Stephans was appointed to the Lifetime Television board of directors to oversee ABC/Disney’s 50% ownership of the channel.
In 1999, Murphy-Stephans was named President and Executive Producer for Oxygen Sports at Oxygen Media. She was part of the channels original launch team and oversaw the creation of the sports department, negotiated programming and production deals and created the award winning biography series, Sports Aside. Before leaving Oxygen Media, she served as the Executive Vice President of Production.
In 2006, Murphy-Stephans became the Executive Vice President of Programming & Production for MSG Media where she led the staff to a record setting 46 Emmy awards and 15 PROMAX awards. While at MSG Media, Murphy-Stephans oversaw the networks’ Programming, Production, Marketing, On-Air Promotion and Operations departments that produced more than 325 live events and 2300 hours of original programming annually. In 2008, she added Executive Producer to her title while continuing to oversee all Programming and Production.
Prior to joining the Pac-12 Networks, Murphy-Stephans was Founder and Partner of All Access Media Partners, a multi-platform media consulting firm that provided end-to-end solutions in media, programming, production and marketing. She launched the firm in 2009.
A native of Northbrook, Ill., Murphy-Stephans served on the advisory board of Chicago 2016, the organization that oversaw Chicago’s bid for the Olympic Games. She previously served on the Board of Directors for NYC 2012 and on the U.S. Speed Skating Associations’ Board of Directors. Prior to starting her media career, Murphy-Stephans was a champion speed skater and member of the 1984 U.S. Olympic Speed Skating Team. In 1994, she was inducted into the Amateur Skating Union’s Hall of Fame.