According to The Hollywood Reporter, new ESPN president James Pitaro "is asserting his leadership of ESPN at a time of internal division at the network, which is caught in the crosshairs of the Trump culture wars and the worsening economics of cable TV." The internal divide has pitted "woke" performers like Jemele Hill against the "Bristol tradition." As one executive notes, ESPN is painted as a liberal network when much of the leadership is actually conservative. "The network itself takes a terrific knock for being some kind of pinko lefty operation,” says one executive, adding that ESPN's Bristol headquarters "is not a bastion of liberalism. And it's laughable that that's the perception." Pitaro's mandate has been to calm the waters of the political divide. Upon taking over earlier this year, Pitaro told employees ESPN is not "a political organization. Of course there will be an intersection between sports and politics. We will cover that fairly. But we are focused on serving the sports fan.” ALSO: A black ESPN executive reportedly called Jemele Hill and Michael Smith's "SC6" SportsCenter "too black."