In recent weeks, WWE has taken several steps in order to combat its problem of declining ratings, including the recent hiring of Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff as the company’s respective executive directors for the Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live brands. However, it was only during WWE’s second-quarter earnings call on Thursday that company chairman and CEO Vince McMahon revealed why he had hired the two industry veterans for the new roles.
As transcribed by Seeking Alpha, WWE’s recent conference call featured several of the promotion’s top executives sounding off on various topics, with McMahon specifically discussing the executive director roles in his opening statement. While he did not refer to Heyman and Bischoff by name, the 73-year-old chief executive made sure to underscore their importance to the company as he spoke to WWE’s investors.
“One the things that we’ve done is hire two Executive Directors, one for Raw and one for SmackDown and in doing so, it allows me to look at a longer-range story – our standpoint and also spend more time on talent development and not get into the weeds as much as I had to do in the past,” McMahon said. “That is a really, really good thing for a long-term as well as short-term. Actually, we’ve seen a big result already.”
Vince McMahon has spoken in depth about a variety of huge topics:https://t.co/n6vQxuuHr7
— WrestleTalk (@WrestleTalk_TV) July 25, 2019
In response to an investor’s question about the reason why he hired Heyman and Bischoff to serve as executive directors, McMahon said that they both have a “longer-range point of view” and have “extensive” backgrounds in the wrestling business. McMahon also suggested that Heyman and Bischoff will have a “lot of latitude” in their roles, as this would allow him to focus on the broader aspects of helping WWE improve its business. He added that the company has “definitely turned the corner” in terms of its product, noting that the two executive directors have been instrumental in the “relaunch” of WWE’s content.
As Bischoff and Heyman both had experience working with risqué or controversial storylines during their years working for WWE’s rivals, McMahon suggested that WWE’s content will ramp up on the edginess going forward. He added, however, that the company will still “remain in the PG environment” and not hearken back to the boldness of the Attitude Era or the “blood and guts” storylines that were prevalent in this era of WWE programming, which took place from the late ’90s to the early 2000s.
The WWE conference call came around the same time as a report that offered additional clarity on Paul Heyman and Eric Bischoff’s roles as executive directors. According to WhatCulture, this week’s issue of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter explained that the two will be in charge of Monday Night Raw and SmackDown Live’s merchandise and media publicity, with Heyman also handling Raw‘s creative direction. It wasn’t specified, however, whether Bischoff would be serving in a similar capacity on SmackDown.