Justin Barrasso from SI.com reports that Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff have been named as WWE’s Executive Directors for Monday Night RAW and Smackdown Live respectively. Both will report directly to WWE Chairman and CEO Vince McMahon, a spokesperson for WWE confirmed. Bischoff will also work directly with executives from FOX.
WWE’s official twitter account also confirmed the hirings:
— WWE (@WWE) June 27, 2019
These positions are full-time executive roles with no plans at this time to be introduced as part of the on-air television product.
While Paul Heyman’s resume is extensive with regards to being an on-air personality and one of the founding fathers of Extreme Championship Wrestling, from July 2002 to February 2003 he was the lead writer for Smackdown. In his 2014 WWE documentary Ladies and Gentleman, My Name is Paul Heyman, Heyman stated that the Smackdown brand he was writing was beating RAW in ratings, merchandise and live show attendance during a time McMahon wanted real-life competition between the brands.
For Eric Bischoff, this is not his first foray into an executive role either. In 1994, Bischoff was named Executive Vice President of the now-defunct World Championship Wrestling, where he led the company to its first profit-turning year in 1995. By 1997, he would become President of the federation and continue its success as a direct competitor to World Wrestling Entertainment.
Heyman has been serving as the on-screen advocate of Brock Lesnar, but has been contributing behind the scenes. Bischoff has been hosting the “83 Weeks” podcast with Conrad Thompson.
Here is the press release from WWE announcing the new hirings:
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.