ESPN’s long-dreaded wave of layoffs hit on Wednesday, and, as feared by those that had heard rumblings in Bristol, there were a great number of people that found out they would no longer have jobs with The Worldwide Leader.
The layoffs come after continual decline to ESPN’s subscriber base, which has caused a shift in how the sports media giant gets revenue — so much came from cable subscriptions — and adapt, as every outlet must, to the changing landscape of how people consume news and information. The dozens (and counting) let go on Wednesday — with unofficial reports stating as many as 100 people may be out — were casualties of that shift.
ESPN’s official announcement of the layoffs — which did not name names — included a statement by president John Skipper explaining their new direction.
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.