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ESPN Reportedly Eyes More Than 100 Layoffs

ESPN is reportedly setting the stage for its second round of layoffs in less than a year.

According to a report in Sports Illustrated, ESPN will lay off more than 100 employees after Thanksgiving. The cuts are expected to come from across the company, including on-camera talent, producers, digital staff, and executives.

In March, ESPN initiated staff cuts that affected roughly 100 employees. In 2015, ESPN laid off about 300 employees.

ESPN has been hard hit by pay-TV subscriber losses and declining ratings for live sports. The division had for years been a revenue powerhouse for its corporate parent, the Walt Disney Co. But recent struggles at the sports-media giant have been a drag on Disney’s stock performance. In a fourth quarter earning report released Friday, Disney fell short of analyst expectations of earnings of $1.12 per share, landing instead at $1.07 a share. Revenue stood at $12.8 billion, down 3% from the previous year’s quarter.

The company’s media networks — which include cable and broadcast TV — saw revenues slide 3% to $5.5 billion and segment operating income decline 12% to $1.5 billion. ESPN, which has struggled in recent quarters as consumers turn away from cable TV packages, again saw subscriber losses.

To counter competitors like Netflix, Disney has aggressively moved to launch its own direct-to-consumer service, starting with ESPN Plus, a sports streaming service launching next year. The company announced the name Thursday.

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