ESPN Mulls Layoffs as Media Landscape Changes

ESPN: Sports-Media Giant Considers Layoffs
Kohjiro Kinno/ESPN Images

ESPN could be considering a series of layoffs as the Walt Disney-controlled sports-media juggernaut anticipates operating in a fast-changing media landscape.

Citing multiple sources, The Big Lead, a sports-news site, reported Monday the company could be preparing to lay off as many as “200 to 300” staffers. ESPN, long a dominant force in television owing to its live-sports broadcasts, is facing many of the same challenges as properties owned by Viacom, Time Warner, 21st Century Fox, CBS and Comcast. The rights for its programming are costly, and growing more so. Meantime,  TV audiences are migrating to new venues like mobile tablets and streaming video to gain access to their favorite programs.

“ESPN has historically embraced evolving technology to smartly navigate our business,” the company said in a statement. ” Any organizational changes will be announced directly to our employees if and when appropriate.”

ESPN’s steps on its path to the future have been on full display in recent months. The company has severed ties with well-known announcers like Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann as it seeks to keep costs trimmed. Meantime, it has been seeking new opportunities to work more closely with sister network ABC, hoping that the broader ratings of a broadcast network might benefit everything from its basketball coverage to its annual ESPY Awards.

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  1. John Cady says:

    Watching the national league games until espa drops the gal announcer.SHe does not know baseball,has not played baseball ,has untimely comments. Another espa pic move. We are sick of it.

  2. Old Car Guy says:

    Please let Chris Berman and Stephen A. Smith be the first two to go. When either one is on, I mute the TV or change the channel. Too many talking heads who think they know everything. They have lost a lot of luster over the years. I just can’t get used to women announcing football in their PC efforts. I quit watching MNF a long time ago. Mike Tirico just isn’t that good and Jon Gruden gets on my nerves. I wonder what the ratings are for the WNBA. I’d rather listen to rap music than listen to Tirico and Gruden or watch the WNBA. Skip Bayless needs to go, too.

  3. John Joseph says:

    ESPN gets nothing but garbage for MNF ,but I only watch because Jon Gruden knows his stuff! and his partner is a good compliment.

    • JM in SoCal says:

      The very best football broadcasts were never on TV. When Jack Buck and Hank Stram did the games on radio, it was like being there.

  4. Sam America says:

    ESPN has become another politically correct network and it has ruined the once great sports network.
    Monday NIght Football should have stayed on ABC! NBC’s Sunday Night Football sucks! except for
    Al Michaels but with the other announcers and network crap it is unwatchable. How come every damn
    show now has to have a ‘women’ announcer with 2 or 3 men as her sidekicks answering her dumb
    teleprompter written questions?and the show with a black guy and girl with no white people? dumb.
    The only reason I watch is for College Football but I use the internet since I cancelled my cable a
    year ago and I don’t miss it and I really enjoy saving over 1,500 dollars a year. 99% of cable sucks.
    I didn’t realize how much I didn’t watch until I cancelled it. I watch TV now with my flat antenna and
    get more than enough channels and better programming with channels like ME and Cozi TV anyway
    and I get all local Football games. It’s true they are going to MAKE YOU PAY JUST TO WATCH
    YOUR LOCAL FOOTBALL BASKETBALL BASEBALL TEAMS in the near future! no more free TV!
    network TV is a joke now with 99% of their programs nothing but pure garbage! F ESPN and cable.
    I agree with most of the comments and it seems the cable and networks just don’t get it anymore!
    The real TV and Sports fan is being treated like crap trying to gain younger and dumber viewers
    and push their politics thru the media even through SPORTS and other shows! Goodbye.

    • Bob says:

      We must be related Sam. I won’t watch any ESPN2 games on Saturday because of the female commentator. Her voice is like scrapping a chalkboard. ESPN’s political correctness has ruined sports for me.

  5. dave james says:

    I haven’t watched ESPN since the 80’s. I’d like to have my 6 bucks a month wasted on their crap that I never watch. For that matter I don’t watch any sports only stations and I haven’t attended or supported any sport in the past 10 years because I have simply lost all interests in any sport that that don’t support themselves financially. It’s time to tax the hell out of sports and their fans for bragging rights.

  6. Run Faster says:

    At the end of the day it’s not about this announcer or another. It’s about basic economics and whether some dude who can run with a ball very fast is really worth $5 or $10 or $15 million a year. That is the major driving force behind their costs as TV rights are the main source of revenue for the sports leagues. Maybe the dude in question is really only worth, in economic terms, just $2 million per year and ESPN’s fair charge per subscriber (whether they watch ESPN or not) should be say $3 a month, not $6.5.

  7. Joey Fatzone says:

    Cut dish eight months ago. Couldn’t stand subsidizing channels I don’t watch, ESPN included. Oprah need to find another chump.

  8. Daniel Dawe says:

    Maybe they should drop their left wing politics and stick to sports.

  9. Drago Robinson says:

    What happens when you let the kardashians into your world. Everyone around the family is toast

  10. Glenn Robinson says:

    ESPN has rights to every NCAA & NFL game on your smartphone. Now, if blackouts were made illegal last year by the FCC, why can’t I use my smartphone to listen to my home team?

  11. Joe McDowell says:

    ESPN lost me as a viewer when they started saying, “Let’s get Stephen A(hole) Smith’s opinion on this….” And the whole Bruce, eh, Caitlyn Jenner “most courageous athlete” award. But what do you expect from an organization that is owned by Disney. The greedy people who run Disney would sell their souls to the devil for a few more buck$!!!! ESPN is un-watchable now….

  12. ESPN has become too political, i.e. left-leaning, so I stopped watching it years ago. Getting rid of it completely soon.

  13. dwdude says:

    i have been a cord cutter for three years now…cable can just die for all i care. totally worthless pc agenda 24/7…i’ll choose and pay for what i watch, which lately isn’t much.

  14. dave says:

    next is the Weather Channel. (actually already downsizing and changing programing). It was another channel I stopped watching because of their lib programing. Their motto should have been “Climate change all the time.” Had enough there and now have alternate sources for weather info. Program changes came to late for me. ESPN is the same. Other than a live event, and there aren’t many pof those anymore) I get my info elsewhere.

  15. Nunya Bidness says:

    Please start with that ass Keith Olberman

    • Sam America says:

      100% correct! I hate the weather channel since Hurricane Katrina when they became this weather
      entertainment and political liberal network! it’s like watching PMSNBC weather channel. and when
      is the last time they actually forecast a hurricane or storm right? they are only accurate when it’s
      a day or two out and no chance of changing course that anybody could predict landfall. it’s a joke.
      remember when your local forecaster could predict days week in advance? not anymore! but
      then again these are the new forecasters who can’t do anything without their iphones ipads and
      their fancy weather radar and believe in climate change oh I mean global warming! what is it now?

  16. roger hawkins says:

    what is funny is how this illustrates that if you go all PC and over the top liberal like ESPN has done, you lose lots of business. People hate that crap.

  17. Flrida Jim says:

    I have left ESPN Olbermann and political corre3ctness drove me off after decades.

  18. cdsudduth says:

    “sports-media juggernaut ”

    Could have fooled me, I thought it was just another left wing propaganda outlet

  19. Indymaverick says:

    Espn has turned into a liberal rag. Glad I cut the cord a long time ago.

  20. Common Tater says:

    I quit watching sports when Albert Haynesworth face-stomped Andre Gurode. Who wants to waste time watching a bunch of thugs and criminals, anyway? Now I spend my Sundays putting rounds downrange.

  21. Softshellcrab says:

    ESPN has become more culturish oriented and less sports talk particularly with its minority mouthpieces. While their future is solid in sportscasting their sports shows are less appealing. I rarely watch then except for their live broadcasts of college sports.

  22. Jack Pod says:

    I hope the layoffs include on-camera bozos. Most of them are horrible. Which ones? Take your pick and you can’t go wrong.

  23. Will Caitlyn have to give her trophy back?

  24. G H says:

    And those affected best just smile and shuffle on out the door — or else Disney will slander and blacklist them, and make it as hard as possible for those unemployed to find subsequent work. I know .

  25. cody says:

    Too bad libs. Your little sports channel is run/controlled/dominated by nothing but left wing puke liberals. Hope you lefties go out of business.

  26. Stu says:

    I just realized, though I never made an effort to ban them, I just don’t watch ESPN at all. I stopped enjoying watching them and moved on.

  27. They can start by laying off talking heads who obstructed investigations of homicides, as in Ray Lewis who ditched his bloody clothes and instructed his homies to STFU not that long ago.

  28. Jizz Cumonu says:

    Way too many morons bloviating on ESPN..Most especially the two dolts Stephen A-whole and his useless co-host Chip the Dip..Do sports fans actually need 50 or 60 different turds covering the most mundane aspects of every single sporting event ? ” Less is more” 90% of the ESPN payroll needs to be slashed.

  29. beattention says:

    ESPN has lost a lot of their viewers by the dilution of viewers finding other things to do.

  30. tngilmer says:

    People are no longer captive to the liberal media at all levels (entertainment to sports) and are turning them off. Good riddance to them.

  31. James Anderson says:

    I only TIVO sports events on ESPN then I watch them on mute and fast forward through their commercials.

  32. Jay Szop says:

    Can’t happen quick enough. I cancelled cable and satellite due to their inability to offer ala carte options. ESPN’s outrageous fees are unjustified. More and more people are doing the same.

    If ESPN focused on sports, that might be tolerable, but their liberal agenda is sickening.

    Ironically, back in their early days (late ’80s), they routinely showed swimsuit contests – “Hot Summer Nights”, IIRC.

  33. Robert Easton says:

    “TV audiences are migrating to new venues like mobile tablets and streaming video to gain access to their favorite programs.” The question is how many of these people are being pulled by the new technology and how many are being pushed to the new technology by the liberal bias of ESPN?

  34. Bob Suyak says:

    Bye, bye left wing clowns.

    • dave says:

      My thiughts exactly. They are so PC they are now my last “venue” of choice for any sports news. I actually avoid them most of the time. I would rather work at finding my info than listen to their blather.

  35. Mr. Derp says:

    ESPN has become yet another Left-Wing propaganda outlet. Cut your cable and get a Roku or Apple TV.

  36. Kenny Buell says:

    LOL! Like nobody saw this coming! I stopped watching when ESPN decided to become a “political sports network”. I want sports… not mindless liberal drivel. (See Bruce/Caitlin Jenner).

  37. John Conners says:

    Maybe, just MAYBE, people don’t appreciate their constant political drivel. The fact that it’s all leftist makes it that much worse.

  38. Eddie says:

    there are no words to describe how ignorant, unevolved, rude, and stupid, redneck drudge report readers are.

    • Common Tater says:

      Your liberal tolerance has been duly noted, comrade. And your Two Minutes’ Hate was over three minutes ago.

    • the_brute_sqaud says:

      Actually Eddie there are words. You are just too dumb to know, spell, and use them correctly. “Hi, my name Eddie, I no like free thought, I no like people who no like big government, I call people names because I so big.”

    • Kenny Buell says:

      You are aware that Drudge just links you to a wide variety of news sources, don’t you?

      Thing is most of the links are to news stories you liberal mattress stains would prefer not be told.

    • John Conners says:

      Despite your apparent lack of grammatical skills, you’re quite the angry troll.

  39. JD23 says:

    ESPN is a leftist PO.S network and I haven’t watched their non-sports propaganda programming in over a year. But that was not really enough, the only way to have some affect is to cancel your cable programming. Over six dollar a month goes directly to Disney. If a few million cut the cord then they’ll begin to stop with their propaganda and begin to program what the audience wants, instead of trying to indoctrinate them. I’ve finally done that and it’s not that bad. I had the max cable package and really only watched a few channels. Great savings and great piece of mind knowing I’m not contributing in any way to these d-bags. The programs I want are available elsewhere, mostly through legal means and even live sports can be viewed online.

  40. Watching ESPN is like watching MSNBC…just left wing wacko psycho-dribble. If someone isn’t accused of being racist, then someone is homophobic. If all else fails blame whitey.

    I remember ESPN from the 90’s…it was just about sports and who could be the most comedic on sportscenter.

  41. The problem with many outlets is too many Jewish “folks” acting like a clan. The KKK has nothing on the monopoly clannishness of the Jews.

  42. Chicago860 says:

    Start with Olberman

  43. Chris Berman says:

    Great news as ESPN SUCKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  44. B Da Truth says:

    Good any time some phony Leftist news media entity collapses is a good day for America

  45. ImYup says:

    ESPN should have stuck with sports. But they had to impose their ridiculous leftist opinions on us. I won’t watch anything but games.

  46. scott leahy says:

    ESPN, has followed the lead of many of the liberal media outlets and now they are paying the price. Stories of promoting “Gay athletes”, “12 year-old female little league phenoms”, “incessant promotion of athletes such as Ray Lewis, Brett Favre, and Lebron James”. Eternal cheerleading of Obama and his administration, as well as blowhard sportswriters, who became rich and famous, only because of the creation of ESPN. ESPN, made the mistake of becoming controversial and political, when they should have just concentrated on sports. The public is tired of their platform and as a result their revenues are decreasing.

  47. whacked out liberalism killed them…the bruce jenner speech deleted espn off the screens.

  48. art says:

    ESPN has become the TMZ of sports. No substance just desperation for making headlines.

  49. The real question here is.. wtf does E S P N stand for anyway?

  50. kalamere says:

    Clearly the owners of ESPN have no idea what has happened and they think its a new media landscape. Disney has turned sports into another liberal political outfit. I stopped watching a long time ago. When they do the layoffs I hope they start with the guy who went after Sherman.

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