ESPN layoffs hit on-air reporters and anchors as 100 employees face cuts
ESPN was set to put off around 100 employees on Wednesday, including some of the network’s most popular on-air an internet-based personalities, depending on multiple reports.
The Disney-owned sports giant did not have any promises to announce the names within the employees affected, but much of the anchors, reporters and analysts who had been informed of their total release spoke on social network.
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Notable names included veteran NFL reporter Ed Werder, MLB writer Jayson Stark, nfl and college football reporter Brett McMurphy, college basketball reporter Dana O’Neil and ESPN Dallas columnist Jean-Jacques Taylor.
MLB analyst Jim Bowden, college basketball reporter Eamonn Brennan and large Ten football reporters Austin Ward and Jesse Temple were also some of those let them go.
“A necessary part of managing change involves constantly evaluating how you will best utilise all of our own resources, and therefore sometimes involves difficult decisions,” ESPN president John Skipper said within a company-wide memo disseminated Wednesday morning. “We will implement adjustments to our talent lineup in the week. A smallish amount of other positions will be affected plus a several new jobs might be posted to fill various needs.”
Also included in the cuts were NHL writers Pierre LeBrun, Joe McDonald and Scott Burnside, which taken together is an ominous sign to the network’s resolve for hockey coverage.
The long-rumored layoffs were inevitable given ESPN’s declining subscriber base and commitment to increased broadcast rights packages, a portfolio which includes a 10-year, $15.2bn contend with the NFL, a $7.3bn deal for that college football games playoffs as well as a nine-year, $12bn deal with the NBA that started last fall.
It marked ESPN’s first major layoffs since October 2019, when around 300 mostly behind-the-scenes employees were release.