Another round of layoffs rocks the media industry. This time, feeling more surprised than in previous layoffs. ESPN is now in the hot seat as 20 of their on-air talent get let go.
While it was announced layoffs would happen in February, nearly 7,000 employees were let go from The Walt Disney Company. With the conclusion of these layoffs, ESPN being affected is news to many. “The news comes as a complete surprise, considering Iger has previously mentioned that ESPN wouldn’t be affected by the layoffs.” Inside the Magic reports.
Amid the coverage of the NBA Free Agency, these cuts were made. Deadline writes, “A source indicated that many of those affected by the new cuts have contracts beyond June 30 and will be paid out accordingly, but parting ways will enable ESPN to avoid wider layoffs.” A list of the 20 on-air employees that were let go includes some longtime employees of ESPN. Suzy Kolber, who worked in the industry for over 35 years, added her input on Twitter.
Today I join the many hard-working colleagues who have been laid off.
Heartbreaking-but 27 years at ESPN was a good run.
So grateful for a 38 yr career!
Longevity for a woman in this business is something I’m especially proud of.
Next step- a project that gives back. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/URitozP0LQ
— Suzy Kolber (@SuzyKolber) June 30, 2023
While 20 on-air personalities were laid off, it is (of course) concerning across the company if any more will occur. The list of 20 includes,
- Jeff Van Gundy
- Jalen Rose
- Keyshawn Johnson
- Max Kellerman
- Suzy Kolber
- Chris Chelios
- Matt Hasselbeck
- Steve Young
- Rob Ninkovich
- Neil Everett
- Ashley Brewer
- Joon Lee
- LaPhonso Ellis
- Todd McShay
- Jordan Cornette
- Jason Fitz
- David Pollack
Although ESPN released a statement leaning towards the liking of this being the only “small” cut the company will see, it still shakes up the industry. Their statement is as follows,
ESPN issued the following statement about the layoffs:
“Given the current environment, ESPN has determined it necessary to identify some additional cost savings in the area of public-facing commentator salaries, and that process has begun,” ESPN said in a statement. “This exercise will include a small group of job cuts in the short-term and an ongoing focus on managing costs when we negotiate individual contract renewals in the months ahead. This is an extremely challenging process, involving individuals who have had tremendous impact on our company. These difficult decisions, based more on overall efficiency than merit, will help us meet our financial targets and ensure future growth.
Looking forward, Disney fans can expect things to look different at ESPN and potentially other areas for The Walt Disney Company. The merge of Disney+ and Hulu has already affected streaming, with content being pulled from both platforms. A source says sports reporting will look different in the year to come with fewer personalities to report the news.
What are your thoughts on these new layoffs?