ESPN will lay off 100 on-air personalities and writers today, a source has confirmed for TheWrap.
The large cut comes as the expensive “Worldwide Leader in Sports” hemorrhages subscribers in the cord-cutting era. Readers can find out how ESPN is combating that new reality through content by clicking here. Business-wise, a large chunk of cost-savings will be based on the layoffs, which we knew were coming. The job consolidation will include dozens of names sports fans know from television and radio, as well as some reporters, a job that falls under the company’s “Commentators” bin.
“We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week,” boss John Skipper told his employees this morning. “A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.
Here’s Skipper’s full internal memo:
ESPN has been actively engaged throughout its history in navigating changes in technology and fan behavior in order to continue to deliver quality, breakthrough content. Today, we are again focused on a strategic vision that will propel our vast array of networks and services forward.
A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions. Our content strategy – primarily illustrated in recent months by melding distinct, personality-driven SportsCenter TV editions and digital-only efforts with our biggest sub-brand – still needs to go further, faster…and as always, must be efficient and nimble. Dynamic change 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. A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.
These decisions impact talented people who have done great work for our company. I would like to thank all of them for their efforts and their many contributions to ESPN.
Our objective in all we do is to best serve fans and their changing consumption habits while still maintaining an unparalleled and diverse talent roster that resonates with fans across all our platforms. We will continue to foster creativity and investment in the products and resources necessary to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.
Thank you as always for your continuing dedication to our work.