2017 has been brutal for the world of journalism, as many top news organizations have either completely shuttered or laid off a large portion of staff—and ESPN is the latest outlet to do so. The sports network laid off approximately 150 employees earlier this week.
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As everyone is currently in a festive mood as the holiday season rapidly approaches, 150 ESPN employees likely won’t be having a particularly happy holiday this year due to the network laying them off. The Washington Post reports that with this latest round of layoffs, it brings the total number of ESPN layoffs to 300 since October 2015.
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Via Washington Post:
ESPN announced Wednesday that it is laying off approximately 150 employees, the network’s third round of job cuts over the past two-plus years.
Faced with a declining subscriber base and increasing sports-rights costs, ESPN laid off around 300 employees — many of them working behind the scenes — in October 2015. Then, in April, the network cut roughly 100 jobs, with the reductions coming from ESPN’s stable of on-air talent and online journalists. The round of layoffs announced Wednesday will affect employees “in studio production, digital content, and technology and they generally reflect decisions to do less in certain instances and re-direct resources,” ESPN President John Skipper announced in a memo to network employees.
“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,” Skipper wrote.
While ESPN still staffs over 8,000 employees, Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated recently reported that the network will make another round of cuts by not re-signing Sports Center anchors whose contract renewals are coming up within the next year.
ESPN is also struggling with viewers. The sports network has just less than 87 million cable subscribers, down more than 13 million from its peak of 100.13 million households in 2011.
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