As sports cable network ESPN continues to bleed cash, another round of layoffs is about to hit that will reportedly take out some well-known reporters and on-air faces.
Reports say that ESPN management is being tasked with cutting “tens of millions” of dollars of staff salary from its payroll, meaning that on-air personalities are on the chopping block, according to Sports Illustrated.
“Today’s fans consume content in many different ways, and we are in a continuous process of adapting to change and improving what we do. Inevitably, that has consequences for how we utilize our talent,” ESPN said in a statement. “We are confident that ESPN will continue to have a roster of talent that is unequaled in sports.”
The network is reportedly set to buyout some contracts, and fire writers and behind the camera staffers. The slashing of staff will likely be completed by June, insiders say.
The news of the massive cuts comes on the heels of reports that ESPN is losing millions per 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 last month.
“A floundering ESPN, with rising costs and declining viewership, continued to sink Disney’s DIS, +0.24% financial results during its fiscal first quarter,” MarketWatch.com reported.
With ESPN dragging on the company, Disney’s revenue fell 3 percent, and its profits sank 14 percent, the financial site reported.
As to ESPN itself, the network lost subscribers, found its average viewership crater, and experienced falling advertising rates even as its programming costs climbed. And this fall from grace continued even after Disney insisted that ESPN had reached its bottom after the previous quarter came to an end.
ESPN’s crashing revenue coincides with its increasingly leftward political content, a drift so blatant that the network’s ombudsman felt pressured to address the network’s political content.
Last November, ESPN’s Jim Brady presented evidence that even inside its executive boardroom complaints from viewers have resonated that sports cable network ESPN has become far too liberal.