Shock waves rattled the offices of the Worldwide Leader in Sports Entertainment when ESPN book author James Andrew Miller predicted that 40-5o on-air talent could lose their jobs due to layoffs. Now, it appears Miller was being optimistic.
Over the next few days, ESPN could sever ways with 70 TV/radio anchors, reporters, analysts, and online writers, according to SportingNews. One source characterized the situation, saying “This could be a bloodbath.”
The higher number may reflect the inclusion of online sports writers to the head-chopping party. Highly regarded Tennessee Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky tweeted Monday that the network will not renew his contract.
Knew cuts were coming. Sad to say nine great years at ESPN end for me in July. Please stay tuned to @Midday180.
— Paul Kuharsky (@PaulKuharskyNFL) April 24, 2017
Another source described the Bristol, Connecticut, campus as “eerily silent” on Monday. ”It’s like the dead calm before a horrible storm.”
Some of the high-profile sports broadcasters earn $1.5-3 million, and reportedly those contracts may be renegotiated downward 50 percent if the employee wants to stay with the company.
The layoffs predictably will come before Disney, ESPN’s parent company, releases 2nd quarter financial results on May 9.
Breitbart has reported extensively that ESPN suffered huge subscription losses over the last few years. Many believe much of the loss can be attributed to viewers being fed up with network personalities espousing liberal political views.
ESPN has gone from 100 million subscribers to just 88 million in the last five years. Breitbart reported in November that ESPN lost 3.2 million subscribers over the last year.
Sporting News writer Michael McCarthy observes that, “Politically conservative media outlets such as Breitbart have attacked ESPN as a bunch of flaming liberals. They argue the layoffs are proof the WWL’s politically correct chickens are finally coming home to roost.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.