ESPN will reportedly slash an estimated $80 million in salaries and other costs in coming weeks, according to Sporting News.
The third round of layoffs in two years at the Disney-owned sports network is expected to come down after Thanksgiving and before Christmas. Sporting News originally reported that ESPN planned to lay off up to 60 people in late November and early December. Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated followed up with a report that said 100 positions could be impacted. ESPN declined to comment Monday.
Per Sporting News, ESPN laid off 100 mostly on-airthis April, including well-known names such as , Trent Dilfer and Brit McHenry. In October 2015, the company , including well-respected executives such as Gus Ramsey and Gerry Matalon.
Check out what Sporting News had to say about the reality of the cuts:
Look, ESPN is not going anywhere. It's still by far the largest, most successful sports cable network,such as Fox Sports' FS1. Its world-class journalists such as Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham continue to with their reporting on the NFL civil war between commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Looking to connect with younger consumers, ESPN just launched "SportsCenter" on Snapchat, with Katie Nolan, Elle Duncan and Cassidy Hubbarth. It also re-signed successful "SportsCenter" host Scott Van Pelt, whose late night show is viewed as a template for more personality focused "SportsCenters." ESPN is far from alone in laying off staffers in the struggling media business.
But numbers don't lie.
ESPN lost a whopping $1 billion in affiliate revenue after dropping 13 million subscribers in just six years, according to the SportsBusiness Journal. Sports insiders agree ESPN overpaid for the NFL's "Monday Night Football" ($1.9 billion annually) and the NBA ($1.4 billion a year). During 2016, ESPN's prime-time viewership fell 19 percent, according to the SBJ. Rather than driving Disney's profits, ESPN has been dragging them down, spooking Wall Street analysts.