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Paul Heyman, Eric Bischoff named executive directors of WWE TV

During what's shaping up to be a transformative period for the professional wrestling industry, significant news regarding WWE creative broke this morning.

Sports Illustrated first reported that Paul Heyman has been named the executive director of Raw, and Eric Bischoff has been named the executive director of SmackDown. It was noted that both will report directly to Vince McMahon.

WWE.com also posted a story confirming the news. WWE's article stated that 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."

Sports Illustrated reported that the executive director positions are full-time executive roles, and WWE has "no plans at the current time for this to be introduced as part of a TV storyline."

Heyman has been with WWE as Brock Lesnar's advocate on TV and has also been contributing behind the scenes. This marks a full-time return to the company for Bischoff, who hosts the "83 Weeks" podcast with Conrad Thompson.

Bischoff being named the executive director of SmackDown comes in advance of the show moving to Fox this October. Sports Illustrated said Bischoff will work directly with executives from Fox.