ESPN was expected to cut around 100 employees on Wednesday.
USA TODAY Sports
ESPN has announced changes that resulted in job eliminations for many familiar on-air personalities. The total number was expected to be about 100 employees.
Among those announcing their job cuts via Twitter were NFL reporter Ed Werder, MLB analyst and former big-league general manager Jim Bowden, college football insiders Brett McMurphy and Danny Kanell and several NHL reporters including Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside.
“After 17 years reporting on #NFL,” Werder said via Twitter, “I’ve been informed that I’m being laid off by ESPN effective immediately. I have no plans to retire.”
The Hollywood Reporter included prominent long-time ESPN personalities Karl Ravech and Hannah Storm in its report:
“Other ESPN personalities may see their roles “significantly reduced,” a person with knowledge of the situation told The Hollywood Reporter. They include Baseball Tonight‘s Karl Ravitch (sic), ESPN Radio’s Ryen Russillo and Hannah Storm, who has been a mainstay at ESPN for a decade and hosted various iterations of flagship SportsCenter, (An ESPN source said that Russillo will continue to host his radio show.)
“The network will continue to evaluate talent contracts in the near term; and there very well could be more talent exits, some of them high profile. Several contracts are coming up for renewal soon, including that of SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross, whose contract is up in July. An ESPN source said the network hopes to keep Buccigross.”
ESPN President John Skipper sent a note to employees on Wednesday that read, in part:
“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.
“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.”
Among those who have tweeted that they have been laid off: