On Wednesday, ESPN’s meltdown continued, as the company announced it would lay off 150 employees as a sign of its continual decline. According to one ESPN source, the job cuts will come from the studio production, digital content and tech groups.
The latest layoffs follow ESPN cutting roughly 300 jobs in October 2015 and roughly 100 more in April 2017. Two-thirds of the 2015 cuts came from ESPN’s main HQ; some people fired were Matt Murphy, the Senior VP/Digital Video Distribution; John Porio, VP/National Accounts, Affiliate Sales & Marketing; Senior Coordinating Producer Dave Miller, and coordinating producer Gus Ramsey. The 2017 cuts included college football studio analyst Danny Kanell, MLB host Jim Bowden, and NFL reporter Ed Werder.
ESPN President John Skipper sent a memo to employees on Wednesday explaining the latest cuts. He wrote:
Today we are informing approximately 150 people at ESPN that their jobs are being eliminated. We appreciate their contributions, and will assist them as much as possible in this difficult moment with severance, a 2017 bonus, the continuation of health benefits and outplacement services. They will also appreciate your support.
The majority of the jobs eliminated are in studio production, digital content, and technology and they generally reflect decisions to do less in certain instances and re-direct resources. We will continue to invest in ways which will best position us to serve the modern sports fan and support the success of our business.
ESPN’s cable subscriber base has been shrinking steadily for years; it plunged to roughly 89.5 million in June 2016 after reaching 99 million in 2013.