The sad news broke today that the longtime sports network has laid off around 100 employees, including several long-time hosts. ESPN president John Skipper sent a memo around the office that the massive layoffs are due to the company’s plan to increase focus on its ESPN app and to “bolster its online presence,” according to Fox News.
Skipper writes, “Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent—anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play—necessary to meet those demands.” Skipper added,“We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week. A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.”
“These decisions impact talented people who have done great work for our company. I would like to thank all of them for their efforts and their many contributions to ESPN.”
Many longtime faces have been released from the company including, Jay Crawford, Danny Kanell, Jayson Stark, Len Elmore, Ed Werder, Scott Burnside, and Brett McMurphy among many others.
Fox News also reports that even though rumors circulated around that the initial number of layoffs has increased in recent weeks, “the game plan was always to cut around 100 people”.
In the memo, Skipper informs that his plans moving forward are to shift the emphasis on live news, video, and audio streaming.
“On the horizon is more live news video and enhanced video and audio streaming,” he writes. “Our goal continues to be to maximize our unparalleled scale in every medium with storytelling that stands out and makes a difference. We are well-equipped to thrive going forward by embracing these themes.”