Wednesday saw the long rumored layoffs at ESPN come to fruition as a massive number of personalities (up to 100, according to reports) from TV, radio, and writing, all learned that their time with the company had come to an end. The list of those that got let go by ESPN grew and grew on Wednesday, and many took to Twitter or other forums to send their best to those let go and also express frustration with ESPN’s massive cuts.
On ESPN’s airwaves, the layoffs hit home as well. Adnan Virk filled in on Russillo & Kanell on ESPN Radio and discussed Kanell’s departure.
And at the end of Wednesday afternoon’s Outside The Lines, Bob Ley, one of ESPN’s longest tenured employees, addressed the layoffs and offered his best wishes to all of his colleagues that were being let go.
Ley and other ESPNers can’t rail against the layoffs publicly, especially on the company’s air, but at the least they were able to acknowledge their departing colleagues. Ley is always adept at eloquently addressing any situation, so it was fitting that he was the one to do this on the TV side. He offered his best to everyone affected, including the families of the former employees, and asked for everyone to do the same in wishing them their best.
The layoffs on Wednesday were a step taken by ESPN to shed costs in the face of a shrinking subscriber base and a need to figure out how to adapt to the change in the landscape of new media.
ESPN isn’t going away or die as some have speculated, but until they figure out how to monetize streaming services in the same manner that they did cable packages — which may never happen — these cuts were inevitable. That’s the fact of the matter, but it doesn’t change anything for the 100 or so employees caught in this situation through no wrong-doing of their own, for whom this is a miserable, miserable day.