ESPN Begins Massive Layoffs

ESPN has begun the process of laying off dozens of on-air personalities, reporters, writers and behind-the-scenes staff members, and the biggest name thus far among the cuts is Ed Werder, and NFL reporter who has been with the network for 17 years.

ESPN president John Skipper confirmed that there are major changes coming as the network looks to slash millions of dollars from its current salary budget. Close to 100 people could lose their jobs.

Heres Skippers full internal memo:

“ESPN has been actively engaged throughout its history in navigating changes in technology and fan behavior in order to continue to deliver quality, breakthrough content. Today, we are again focused on a strategic vision that will propel our vast array of networks and services forward.

A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions. Our content strategy primarily illustrated in recent months by melding distinct, personality-driven SportsCenter TV editions and digital-only efforts with our biggest sub-brand still needs to go further, fasterand as always, must be efficient and nimble.  Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talentanchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-playnecessary to meet those demands.  We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week.  A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.

These decisions impact talented people who have done great work for our company.  I would like to thank all of them for their efforts and their many contributions to ESPN.

Our objective in all we do is to best serve fans and their changing consumption habits while still maintaining an unparalleled and diverse talent roster that resonates with fans across all our platforms.  We will continue to foster creativity and investment in the products and resources necessary to embrace the opportunities that lie ahead.

Thank you as always for your continuing dedication to our work.”

Today’s purge of on-air talent also includes, among others:

Jayson Stark, Baseball Writer

Trent Dilfer, NFL Analyst

Jay Crawford, Analyst

Dana ONeil, College Basketball Reporter

Eamonn Brennan, College Basketball Reporter

Danny Kanell, Radio Host and College Football Analyst

Mike Goodman, Soccer Writer

Johnette Howard, Columnist

Austin Ward, Big Ten Football Reporter

Calvin Watkins, Houston Staff Writer

Joe McDonald, Hockey Writer

Pierre LeBrun, Hockey Writer

Scott Burnside, N.H.L. Columnist

Jesse Temple, Big Ten Football Reporter

Jim Bowden, Baseball Analyst

Mark Saxon, Baseball Reporter

Brett McMurphy, College Football Reporter

Bob Ley shared his thoughts on his departed colleagues on Outside the Lines

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