The sports broadcasting network had announced in March that it planned on laying off some of its on-air talent as well as other employees behind the scenes, but didn’t specify exactly when.
That time is now for about 100 employees.
The company cited changes in the sports media industry as the main reason for the cuts, saying that cable subscribers are finding other options.
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, faster…and 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 talent—anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play—necessary 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.
According to The New York Times, ESPN has lost over 10 million subscribers over the past few years. At the same time, costs of broadcasting deals with major sports continue to skyrocket. In recent years, ESPN signed a $15.2 billion deal with the NFL, a $12 billion deal with the NBA and a $7.3 billion deal for the college football playoffs.
Russillo has since denied that his role will be reduced at ESPN, saying the reports are false.
Although employees knew layoffs were going to come, hearing they no longer have a job left them in utter disbelief.
The last time ESPN had a big layoff in the company was in 2015, when it let 300 employees go, including Bill Simmons and Keith Olbermann.
Many of those employees that were laid off this round of cuts took to Twitter to announce the news of their exit.
Here is an updated list of those who have confirmed they were let go by ESPN on Wednesday:
NFL Reporter Ed Werder
NBA Reporter Marc Stein
NFL Analyst Trent Dilfer
NBA Insider Chad Ford
SportsCenter Anchor Jay Crawford
MLB Senior Writer Jayson Stark
ESPN Radio’s Danny Kanell
ESPNW Reporter Jane McManus
College Basketball Reporter Andy Katz
Reporter Britt McHenry
NFL Reporter Adam Caplan
College Football & Racing Announcer Allen Bestwick
SportsCenter Anchor Jaymee Sire
SportsCenter Anchor Chris Hassel
NCAA Football Analyst Mark May
Soccer Writer Doug McIntyre
NBA Writer Ethan Sherwood Strauss
Columnist Jim Caple
NFL Analyst Ashley Fox
ESPNU Producer Josh Parcell
NCAA Football Reporter David Lombardi
NHL Columnist Scott Burnside
Baseball Analyst Doug Glanville
Baseball Analysts Dallas Braden & Raul Ibanez
College Basketball Commentator Len Elmore
College Football Analyst Charles Arbuckle
ESPNU Anchor Brendan Fitzgerald
ESPN Los Angeles Host Jeff Biggs
SportsCenter Anchor Jade McCarthy
ESPN Chicago Columnist Melissa Isaacson
ESPN Radio’s Robin Lundberg
Investigative Reporter Shaun Assael
NBA Digital Content Director Henry Abbott
NCAA Sports Reporter Chantel Jennings
Legal Analyst Roger Cossack
SportsCenter Anchor Darren Haynes
NCAA Basketball Reporter Dana O’Neil
SEC Recruiting Analyst Derek Tyson
Columnist Johnette Howard
Golf Broadcaster Dottie Pepper
Boxing TV Host Marysol Castro
Pac 12 Reporter Ted Miller
Los Angeles Dodgers Beat Writer Doug Padilla
Commentator Reese Waters
Writer Joe McDonald
Sports Betting Analyst Dave Tuley
NHL Columnist Pierre LeBrun
ESPN Dallas’ Jean-Jacques Taylor
Analytics Expert Rufus Peabody
NFL Contributor Jarrett Bell
NCAA Basketball Writer Eamonn Brennan
SEC Football Reporter David Ching
SEC Reporter Greg Ostendorf
NCAA Basketball Reporter C.L. Brown
Houston Rockets Reporter Calvin Watkins
New Orleans Pelicans Reporter Justin Verrier
Big Ten Reporter Jesse Temple
Baseball Analyst Jim Bowden
Senior Football Recruiting Writer Jeremy Crabtree
Big 12 Reporter Max Olson
Big Ten Reporter Austin Ward
Big Ten Reporter Brian Bennett
Baseball Writer Mark Saxon
Tennessee Titans Writer Paul Kuharsky
Soccer Writer Mike L. Goodman
Soccer Writer David Hirshey
Outside the Lines Reporter Tom Farrey
Outside the Lines Reporter Steve Delsohn
NCAA Football Reporter Brett McMurphy
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