Looks like it’s about to be a bit quieter around ESPN as it was reported that around 100 employees are expected to be laid off.
“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,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a statement to his employees. “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.”
According to the website, the sporting media agency will focus more on its ESPN app and its online presence.
“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.”
Here’s what you can expect so far via ESPN:
- Perhaps the most noted example of this strategy is our recent approach to our flagship program, SportsCenter. SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt, the launch of SC6 with Michael Smith and Jemele Hill, and the debut of more digital-only content socially and on our App means SportsCenter in its many forms is easily accessible, informative and primed with personality.
- Our evolving ESPN App is the best mobile destination for sports fans and has been bolstered by the recent launch of home screen video and increased personalization. On the horizon is more live news video and enhanced video and audio streaming.
- There are numerous examples this year of ESPN’s multi-screen approach around big events, ranging from the College Football Playoff Championship Megacast, the NBA Sidecast, the Tournament Challenge and Fantasy Football Marathons, and the Women’s Final Four. And at the start of NFL free agency, ESPN3’s show featured “Schefter Cam” while ESPN.com and the App were providing extensive clips featuring our NFL reporters and analysts, and ESPN2 wrapped it up with a comprehensive show.
- And on the immediate horizon, three days of NFL Draft TV coverage will be complemented with even more online (which can be personalized to match a fan’s favorite team), the cover package of ESPN The Magazine, Mike & Mike and First Take on location, behind-the-scenes coverage on Instagram Stories and more. In May, two of our biggest journalism brands — Outside the Lines and E:60— will relaunch with an emphasis on increased collaboration and a larger presence digitally, socially and across all our screens.
- All this in addition to the extensive coverage this spring of NBA Playoffs, Major League Baseball, Indy 500, the men’s and women’s College World Series, and more.
As for the people who didn’t make the cut, check out what their reactions were and let’s chat below.
Hoping for the best!
TSR STAFF: Debra Oh! @The_Ebony_Issue on IG