These are the first ESPN layoffs since 2013, and might not be the last, as Disney has notified ESPN to trim $100 million from the 2016 budget and $250 million in 2017.
An ESPN spokesman sent the following statement to The Big Lead about the impending layoffs:
“ESPN has historically embraced evolving technology to smartly navigate our business. Any organizational changes will be announced directly to our employees if and when appropriate.”
The layoffs will come on the heels of a busy summer at ESPN. Once the cord cutting situation became very real, ESPN began looking for ways to lower costs in anticipation of the enormous NBA TV deal that is on the horizon.
Mike & Mike’s radio move to a New York City studio was shelved. Permanently. The hefty salaries of opinion-makers Bill Simmons, Keith Olbermann and Colin Cowherd came off the books.
And ESPN, like Fox Sports 1, will be calling some live sporting events from the studio instead of traveling.