In a move to reduce costs, Disney-owned sports network ESPN announces that it will be laying off employees at the start of next week. The layoffs come as part of a broader cost-cutting strategy implemented by Disney, as the company seeks to navigate the economic challenges posed by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
While the exact number of layoffs has not been disclosed, reports suggest that the cuts will be significant, with some sources suggesting that hundreds of employees could be affected. The layoff will reportedly affect employees across various departments, including production, digital media, and studio operations.
Cuts will include both on-air talent and management
In a statement, ESPN acknowledged the challenges posed by the pandemic, stating that “like many companies across the country, we are implementing changes in response to the ongoing impact of COVID-19.” The company added that the layoff were necessary to “ensure that we are strategically positioning ESPN for long-term success.”
This is not the first time that ESPN has implemented layoffs in recent years. In 2017, the company laid off around 100 employees, citing the need to adapt to changing consumer habits and the increasing costs of broadcasting live sports. The layoffs came as ESPN was facing increased competition from streaming services such as Amazon and Netflix, which were investing heavily in their own sports programming.
ESPN Announces that layoffs are part of Disney’s broader effort to Implements Cost-Cutting Measures.
The latest round of layoffs comes as the sports industry continues to grapple with the effects of the pandemic. With many live sporting events cancelled or postponed, sports networks such as ESPN have seen a significant drop in advertising revenue. The pandemic has also forced many networks to adapt to new ways of broadcasting events, such as using remote production facilities and virtual audiences.
While the layoff are undoubtedly a difficult decision for ESPN and its employees, they are a necessary step to ensure the long-term viability of the company. As the sports industry continues to evolve and adapt to the challenges posed by the pandemic, companies such as ESPN must be agile and prepared to make tough decisions in order to survive and thrive in the years to come.