ESPN lets go of 100 Employees
ESPN announced earlier last week that they would be laying off around one hundred employees, including about fifty well known personnel. ESPN has received loads of backlash towards the company as this has been viewed as another questionable move in the wrong direction. The entire ESPN Hockey staff was laid off right in the middle of the NHL Playoffs, a very questionable and confusing move on behalf of the company. Many Sports Center anchors and personnel were laid off, leaving the Sports Center crew shorthanded. ESPN has been on the downfall as of late, and this is one of the signs that proves it.
The likes of, Andrew Brandt, Britt Mchenry, Ed Werder, Marc Stein, Chad Ford, Andy Katz, Jayson Stark, Brett Mcmurphy, Trent Dilfer, Jay Crawford, and Danny Kannell were among the 100 employees who were laid off. All were very well known across the ESPN world and were watched by millions every day. It was also announced that famous Sports Center anchor Hannah Storm would see her role greatly reduced. ESPN questionably laid off the entire hockey staff in the middle of the NHL Playoffs, showing how much ESPN values hockey on their network. Main hockey analyst John Buccigross was not laid off immediately but also revealed that his contract will not be renewed this summer meaning, he too will become one of these layoffs.
ESPN has seen a major downslide in ratings as of late, seeing many of their employees leaving and going to other Sports networks to start their own shows. Skip Bayless is the main example as he and Stephen A Smith used to run one of the most popular sports talk shows on ESPN. He left the company due to a better opportunity ahead of him and instead of sharing the spotlight being the main talk show on FS1. Colin Cowherd was the first to start this major trend in the Sports Media world leaving ESPN in 2015 to start his own show on FS1 called “The Herd with Colin Cowherd”. This trend was followed by major sports media personnel from ESPN including Mike Tirico, who will now be the main anchor for the Olympics, replacing Bob Costas, after recently signing with NBC; Bill Simmons, who left ESPN to start his own show on HBO; and Cris Carter, who also signed a deal with FS1.
ESPN seems to be falling down the Sports Media food chain with networks such as NFL Network, CBS, and FOX Sports attracting more attention not only on TV but on Twitter and all of social media. With the losses of dozens of their most prized personnel, ESPN seems to be in a bit of a hole lately.