ESPN’s latest round of layoffs could come in ‘next four-to-six weeks’ with everyone ‘at risk’

ESPN’s latest round of layoffs, which is coming soon, could put everyone in jeopardy from top to bottom, according to a report.

The cuts come as part of layoffs across all units announced by Bob Iger, CEO of Disney, ESPN’s parent company.

Iger previously announced 7,000 layoffs across the company, and the first wave of 4,000 is reportedly set to come in the next few weeks as he seeks to save the company about $5.5 billion.

This round of layoffs within ESPN will have “no sacred cows,” with even high-profile talent and major producers at risk over the next four to six weeks, the statement said The New York Post.

All department heads have reportedly been instructed by ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro to review their departments to make them as efficient as possible.

ESPN’s latest round of layoffs could put everyone in jeopardy from top to bottom after department heads were urged by chairman Jimmy Pitaro (above) to review their departments.

There will be no target number for how many employees will be laid off or how much ESPN needs to save.

The sports network giant has spent big bucks on its on-air talent in recent years, including $18 million a year for MNF commentator Troy Aikman, $15 million a year for sportscaster Joe Buck and 12 Millions of dollars a year for popular analyst Stephen A. Smith.

According to the report, the company is even trying to increase spending to add Pat McAfee’s popular podcast show to its ranks.

The YouTuber and sports analyst could be on the verge of ending his four-year, $120 million deal with FanDuel, barely a year after his partnership with the sports betting company.

McAfee, 35, is currently three months into the second year of his contract with the online sportsbook and is said to only want to step out of the sponsorship if “he knows where he’s going,” according to The New York Post.

According to sources, he is said to be in talks with other companies, including Amazon. While Partnering with Google, YouTube, which just made a big deal for NFL Sunday Ticket, or Apple are also possible options.

ESPN is also said to be involved in negotiations with national college football championship player Chris Fowler, who is reported to make around $3 million a year.

The two parties are reportedly far apart in the negotiations, but the broadcasting titan is said to want to keep Fowler and might even offer him a slight raise as he’s his leading college football and Grand Slam tennis voice.

The network has spent big bucks on Troy Aikman (L) and Joe Buck (R) in recent years.
The company is reportedly even planning to add Pat McAfee’s popular podcast show to its ranks

But it won’t offer him the same mega-money deals as Buck, Aikman, or Smith.

Those believed to be the most vulnerable among on-air workers are those earning near or above seven figures but “are not considered needle-movers,” according to the report.

Meanwhile, Smith, late-night SportsCenter host Scott Van Pelt and the Monday Night Football booth are deemed “untouchable.”

Despite plans to make cuts, ESPN is still a great revenue stream for Disney, which rakes in three-quarters of a billion dollars a month from a single ad, thanks to the 74 million homes that pay about $10 a month for the network.

His new streaming service, ESPN+, reportedly has 24.9 million subscribers and costs $9.99 a month.

Talents like Stephen A. Smith (pictured) and the MNF booth are considered “untouchable”.

ESPN has spent heavily on sports rights in recent years, particularly in 2021 when it agreed to pay the NFL $2.7 billion per season for two Super Bowls, and also allowing flexible scheduling for MNF, which is in starts this year.

While it remains the frontrunner of the sports media world, ESPN hasn’t been immune to layoffs over the same period.

In 2015, ESPN, which had hitherto avoided the cuts that had become a part of the media for decades, faced 300 behind-the-scenes staff layoffs.

Another 250 people were fired in 2017, including stars like Ron Jaworski, Marc Stein and Trent Dilfer.

Finally, in 2020, at the height of the pandemic, ESPN laid off 300 employees and chose not to fill 200 positions.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *