2 weeks ago
ESPN announced on Wednesday that the company is going through another round of lay offs; this time, it will affect 150 people. This is the network’s second big cut since April, reports The Ringer. But the network is not losing money, it is simply going to “do less,” according to a memo from president John Skipper. The company that used to want to take over the journalistic and technological world is retreating.
Originally, ESPN wanted to staff an army of reporters who could take on, or replace, the shrinking sports pages of major cities like Los Angeles and Chicago, reports The Ringer. But now, instead of cutting any “boldfaced names,” the network is just scaling back on their ambition by cutting studio production people. The Ringer writes that most likely, they will start pushing less copy. Have only one reporter cover the biggest NBA team instead of two. Have no reporters covering the New Orleans Pelicans.
ESPN has gone through three rounds of layoffs in two years.
“There are hundreds of people that are on edge,” host Jay Crawford, who was also let go in April, told The Ringer. “They’re trying to face the next chapter of their life not knowing whether it’s now or whether it’s going to come later. Everybody there is under a cloud.”
But it is not just ESPN. Vice Sports, Vocativ, FoxSports.com, and MTV News are all gone. Even Buzzfeed, who seemed to have the digital world wrapped around it’s finger, has announced they are laying off 100 people. ESPN has had a particularly bad year, yes, but as The Ringer writes, “it seems layoffs are the new normal, at ESPN and everywhere else.”