ESPN Facing Another Round Of Layoffs
According to Front Office Sports, ESPN, one of the biggest sports networks in the world, is set to endure a round of layoffs in the coming weeks as part of parent company Disney’s cost-cutting measures.
Sources familiar with the situation said the cuts could amount to 3% of Disney’s global workforce and will be a part of a broader corporate restructuring plan.
Disney’s plan is to slash 7,000 jobs and cut US$5.5 billion in costs.
This has led to concerns that ESPN, which has been struggling in recent years, could be hit hard by the layoffs.
Stephen A. Smith alluded to the network’s precarious situation on his “K[no]w Mercy” podcast.
ESPN’s footprint has been reduced to less than 75 million U.S. homes from 100 million in 2011, and the network has already suffered several layoffs over the last decade.
In 2015, ESPN dropped 300 employees, and former president John Skipper laid off roughly 100 anchors, reporters, and analysts, including Trent Dilfer, Danny Kanell, Jerome Bettis, Marc Stein, and Len Elmore in 2017.
The pandemic has ravaged ESPN, forcing President Jimmy Pitaro to cut 300 jobs and let 200 positions go unfilled in 2021.
The company’s struggles have also been attributed to the changing media landscape, with many viewers cutting the cord and switching to streaming services.
The network has yet to announce which departments or roles will be affected, but it is believed that the cuts will be widespread.