ESPN announced on Wednesday, that they will eliminate 150 studio and production jobs from their staff. Continuing a trend that began last year, as the company moves to cut costs in the face of massive subscriber losses.
Sporting News first reported the layoffs last month.
A memo was sent to ESPN employees Wednesday morning announcing the layoffs. Though, the memo reportedly made clear that the cuts would not hit on-air talent. Meaning that flagship programs like ESPN’s SportsCenter, would not be impacted by the cuts.
According to the Chicago Tribune:
The company says it will grow its business in several key areas, including the planned launch early next year of “ESPN+”, an app-based service that will allow viewers to purchase sporting events a la carte.
The 38-year-old network has been squeezed by rising fees to broadcast live events. ESPN also has lost about 10 million subscribers during the past six years, based on estimates by Nielsen Media Research.
The sports broadcaster has about 8,000 employees worldwide. ESPN laid off 100 employees in April, including some longtime on-air personalities.
It had been reported that ESPN plans to save $80 million with this current round of layoffs. However, given that on-air employees make considerably more than studio and production employees, it’s hard to see how ESPN will manage to save that amount solely by eliminating “behind-the-scenes” positions.