For Pete's Sake

ESPN reportedly plans another big round of layoffs in the coming weeks

ESPN logo.
ESPN logo. Tribune News Services

Once upon a time, “SportsCenter” was must-see television for fans. But ESPN’s one-time signature program apparently will be at the center of another round of layoffs that reportedly will happen in the coming weeks.

Sports Illustrated reported that more than 100 people will lose their jobs after Thanksgiving. This is from the SI story:

The layoffs, which were described by a person briefed on the plans, will hit positions across ESPN including front-facing talent on the television side, producers, executives, and digital and technology staffers. The SportsCenter franchise is expected to be hit hard—including on-air people—given the frequency of the show has lessened considerably on main network ESPN.

As more people drop cable in favor of streaming, ESPN has felt the financial pinch. In April, ESPN cut a number of long-time journalists as part of a round of layoffs that included 100 people.

According to the Los Angeles Times, ESPN weighed down the earnings of its parent company, Walt Disney, in a report on Thursday. The Times said that Disney’s “revenue declined 3 percent and the company failed to meet analysts’ expectations.”

The holiday season may seem like a harsh time to shed jobs. But Sports Illustrated said one reason why ESPN is planning the layoffs between Thanksgiving and Christmas is so employees can received another year in the stock vesting program.

Pete Grathoff: 816-234-4330, @pgrathoff

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