Fox Sports is getting rid of nearly two dozen writing and editing jobs on its website and replacing them with video production positions as part of a major shift in focus toward online video.
The network is eliminating about 20 reporter and editor positions in favor of a similar number of video production jobs, an individual with knowledge of the restructuring told TheWrap. Fox is actively encouraging the writers and editors who are being laid off to reapply for the new positions, although they may not be a fit for everyone affected. The new jobs will support Fox Sports’ creation of online video that is easy to share on social media and complements some the network’s on-air sports programming, like a Facebook video with Billy Joel running through the undistinguished list of Cleveland Browns quarterbacks.
“For the past 23 years, Fox Sports has built its reputation on providing sports fans professionally produced, compelling sports video content from the biggest events and best studio shows,” Fox Sports said in a statement provided to TheWrap. “As the industry evolves, we’ve listened to those fans, and have observed a growing appetite for video across multiple screens. After comprehensive research, we have decided to shift our resources to focus on leveraging our live event rights and unique personalities to create premium original sports video content optimized for a variety of platforms.”
Fox Sports’ restructuring comes after rival ESPN laid off about 100 on-air personalities and writers earlier this year in an attempt to control costs in the face of escalating rights fees and a decline in cable subscribers. Even as ESPN parent Disney’s film studio is coming off a record box office year and its theme park division continues to thrive, concerns about the future of the sports broadcaster, which contributes the largest share of Disney’s profits, have weighed on the company’s stock price, as its up just 1 percent this year.