On Wednesday, ESPN decided to let go of over 100+ employees including writers, anchors, and on-air personalities. Some notables that were laid off were Ed Werder, Ethan Sherwood Strauss, Danny Kanell, and Jay Crawford.
While these layoffs come as a surprise to many, they really shouldn’t. It was announced months back that Disney — the company that owns ESPN — told ESPN heads that it will need its budget cut by $100M in 2016 and $250M in 2017. This report apparently did not reach the eyes and ears of many as evidenced by the shock most around the sports world were in following Wednesday’s layoffs.
What else hasn’t been reaching the eyes and ears of many? Apparently ESPN. Why would a company who dubbed itself the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” need to let go of so many employees? This is the question that now hangs in the balance.
Many have come up with theories as to why ESPN’s boat is letting on water. Some believe it’s because of their in-your-face left-wing political views. Some believe it’s because they’ve put more emphasis on entertainment as opposed to factual reporting. Some believe it’s because they’ve pushed beloved stars such as Colin Cowherd and Bill Simmons out the door.
Whatever it is that’s contributing to ESPN’s ship sinking, they’d better figure it out quick because their competitors like Fox Sports 1 and CBS are chomping at the bit to take their place atop the sports news world.