Report: ESPN Layoffs Restricted to On-Air Talent

ESPN to axe several on-air personalities

Reports continue to leak out of ESPN ahead of an impending round of layoffs about to hit the cable sports network. The newest news is that the layoffs will be restricted mostly to on-air talent.

Reports revealed early this week that Disney-owned ESPN prepares to institute a mass layoff of employees to save millions of dollars in salary costs. The rumors came only weeks after Disney announced that the cable network was losing millions a year.

Once a sports powerhouse, ESPN has gone from must-see TV for millions of sports fans to a financial boondoggle for owner Disney, with the network losing up to 10,000 subscribers a day, reports said in February.

Because of the financial loss, Disney announced that layoffs are coming for ESPN. Though initial reports said that on-air talent was only one of the areas considered for trimming, new reports from inside the network say that almost all the layoffs will fall upon talent. According to the Hartford Courant, the firings will mostly fall upon those we see on camera. While no specific numbers have been announced by the cable network, it now seems that only on-air talent and maybe a few with bylines on the ESPN website are on the chopping block.

But, even with the layoffs, the paper reports that ESPN is quick to note that they continue to hire for behind the scenes jobs. “Outside of the on-air, we do continue to hire,” the paper’s source said.

This will be the first mass layoff since 2015 when ESPN laid off 300 workers, consisting mostly of behind the scenes employees.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston or email the author at


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