ESPN President, John Skipper, sent out 100 pink-slips to inform employees that they would no longer be working for the national sports media outlet on April 24.
ESPN has undergone a drop in reader subscriptions, creating a deficit of more than 10 million subscribers over the past several years. So, in what Skipper called a “Content Evolution Strategy,” he decided that firing 100 journalists was the way to go to fix this issue. Layoffs were not the primary factor that got rid of those lower on the totem pole; ESPN abruptly fired reporters who have spent decades with the company and help it earn the title “Worldwide Leader in Sports.”
“These decisions impact talented people who have done great work for our company,” said Skipper. “I would like to thank all of them for their efforts and their many contributions to ESPN.”
Among the layoffs include Ed Werder, NFL football reporter, who covered the league, as well as the Dallas Cowboys, for 17 years. Jayson Stark, MLB reporter for ESPN serving 17 years, was also let go. The entire NHL division was let go as well, in the middle of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
With sports media and programming turning into screaming matchups between two opposing figures, the true victim in all of this was the journalist. Turning on ESPN, you’re more than likely going to see and hear boisterous figures trying to out-yell the other person. Yes, that’s such appealing television and insight. Sadly, this is what sports media has turned into, and Skipper acknowledged the change, although it ruins all credibility from the Bristol, Connecticut-based company.
“Our objective in all we do is to best serve fans and their changing consumption habits while still maintaining an unparalleled and diverse talent roster that resonates with fans across all our platforms,” said Skipper. “We will continue to foster creativity and investment in the products and resources necessary to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.”
This news may not create the sympathy factor among most people, considering how polarizing the media is to the public. Before reveling in the fact that these people are jobless, think about busting your behind in your career field for years upon years and then being told you are being let go. Stings, does it not?
Hopefully these journalists will be able to find new jobs in due time.
It was such a sad day for journalism and it was such a shame to see so much let talent let go, especially from the so-called, “Worldwide Leader in Sports.”