Massive Layoffs at ESPN; 100 on-Air Employees to Get Axe

Production staff view screens in an ESPN operation room during the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 8, 2015, in London. (Carl Court/Getty Images)

ESPN has announced that it is expecting to cut more than 100 on-air employees. It had been widely reported that cuts were looming for the sports giant. Initial news reports had speculated that only some 40-50 folks would be searching for new jobs, but the actual news is much more grim.

All of the 100 people expected to be laid off are “on-air” talent, which, Yahoo! Finance reports, could include on-air personalities, radio hosts and writers who regularly appear on TV.


A note sent to ESPN employees Wednesday morning from network President John Skipper added that a “limited number of other positions will also be affected,” according to Yahoo! Finance.

Skipper’s companywide memo added that the layoffs were in response to “dynamic change [that] demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent—anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play—necessary to meet those demands. We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week.”

Many reports have speculated that the massive layoffs are because the sports networks spends billions to have exclusive rights to sports events like the college football playoffs, and subscription numbers are down drastically as many find alternative ways to watch sports.

A source at ESPN told Yahoo! Finance: “We are focusing on people that can be versatile and appear cross-platform. If you’re making X, are you justifying that salary? It’s all about versatility.” In short, this means that those who can only do sports broadcasting may find themselves on the outside looking in.


So far, the biggest name coming out of the layoffs is NFL veteran reporter Ed Werder.



Read more at Yahoo! Finance.

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Stephen A. Crockett Jr.

Senior Editor @ The Root, boxes outside my weight class, when they go low, you go lower.