As many as 60 people will be cut in the latest round of ESPN layoffs as the company looks to shed about $80.0 million in salaries. Some reports put the job loss count as high as 100.
This marks the third recent round of ESPN job cuts. The company has been suffering of late, due largely to the changing landscape of sports viewing and a lack of people buying cable packages.
This latest run of ESPN layoffs comes after the company shed 100 employees in April, the majority of which were anchors, reporters, and hosts on-air for the television station. These ESPN job cuts came after the company dropped 300 workers in October 2015. ESPN’s October layoffs included executives among other employees.
The sports channel has struggled, with many viewers choosing to eschew cable packages and television, instead turning to online options and other alternatives to traditional television.
ESPN, for its part, has tried to combat these changing trends by initiating new plans, like its SportsCenter project on “Snapchat.”
But it’s uncertain if projects like the one on Snapchat will be enough to turn the ailing company around. ESPN has lost $1.0 billion in affiliate revenue after dropping 13 million subscribers in about six years, according to reports.
The massive $1.9-billion annual contract the company signed for Monday Night Football and the $1.4-billion NBA deal are considered to be some of the bigger recent blunders of the company.
Besides poor investments, the company has also dropped viewers, losing 19% in part-time viewership in 2016.
At the same time, the ESPN layoffs come after the company offered high-value contracts to many on-air employees. And while the employees may have been shed, they still receive payment for those contracts.
ESPN as a network has dropped from being viewed in an estimated 87.5 million from 100.13 million households in 2011.
Can you believe that the disrespect for our Country, our Flag, our Anthem continues without penalty to the players. The Commissioner has lost control of the hemorrhaging league. Players are the boss! https://t.co/udXP5MR8BC
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 24, 2017
Beyond the financial difficulties and layoffs, the company has also been implicated in political infighting. Host Jemele Hill was suspended for two weeks with pay for calling President Donald Trump a “white supremacist” on Twitter, reportedly in violation of ESPN’s social media rules.
The controversy sparked by ESPN’s reaction to Hill’s tweet, coupled with the president’s current feud with NFL players, has drawn politics into the sports realm like never before, creating added pressures on ESPN on top of the already difficult financial situation.
“ESPN layoffs will slash $80 million in salaries and other costs, sources say,” Sporting News, November 21.
“More Significant Layoffs Are Coming to ESPN,” Sports Illustrated, November 9, 2017.
“Another round of layoffs at ESPN will happen soon, reports say,” 7News, November 21, 2017.