ESPN will shed 100 staffers, most of them on-air talent, as the network works to retrench in the wake of falling subscription revenue, increased rights fees and a more concerted focus on digital content.
ESPN president John Skipper made the announcement on Wednesday (April 26), noting that "changes" in the talent lineup will be implemented this week.
"A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions," wrote Skipper in a note to employees posted on the network's web site. "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."
"These decisions impact talented people who have done great work for our company," Skipper continued. "I would like to thank all of them for their efforts and their many contributions to ESPN."
Skipper did not specifically identify staffers or the number of employees that will be let go. But longtime ESPN NFL reporter Ed Werder tweeted this monring that he has been layed off.
"After 17 years reporting on #NFL, I've been informed that I'm being laid off by ESPN effective immediately," Werder Tweeted. "I have no plans to retire."
Other ESPN personalities are seeing their roles "significantly reduced," a person with knowledge of the situation told The Hollywood Reporter. They include Baseball Tonight's Karl Ravitch, 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,
And some have already left: Kaylee Hartung, who covered college sports for the network for the past several years, will shift to CNN.