More bad news for ESPN. According to this Washington Post report, 150 employees will lose their jobs as cable subscriptions dwindle.
ESPN announced Wednesday that it is laying off approximately 150 employees, the network’s third round of job cuts over the past two-plus years.
Faced with a declining subscriber base and increasing sports-rights costs, ESPN laid off around 300 employees — many of them working behind the scenes — in October 2015. Then, in April, the network cut roughly 100 jobs, with the reductions coming from ESPN’s stable of on-air talent and online journalists. The round of layoffs announced Wednesday will affect employees “in studio production, digital content, and technology and they generally reflect decisions to do less in certain instances and re-direct resources,” ESPN President John Skipper announced in a memo to network employees.
“We appreciate their contributions, and will assist them as much as possible in this difficult moment with severance, a 2017 bonus, the continuation of health benefits and outplacement services. They will also appreciate your support,” Skipper wrote.
The 150 layoffs is a larger number than expected by most observers, but it still reflects a small fraction of the network’s reported 8,000 employees. On-camera talent was spared from this recent round of cuts, but Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch reports that the network will continue to reduce costs by not re-signing “SportsCenter” anchors whose contracts are coming up in the next 12 months.