OT: ESPN Layoffs Have Begun

Submitted by translator82 on April 26th, 2017 at 10:30 AM

This was percolating for a while, but ESPN announced today it's laying off what is reportedly close to 100 people, including quite a few on-air and digital notables, which so far include NFL reporter Ed Werder and NHL columnist Scott Burnside (these are the only two that I saw tweet about their loss of job as of this posting...those laid off are tweeting them out when they get the call).



John Skipper has just sent memo to all @espn employees. Layoffs announced today. Around 50 names you will recognize; another 50 you may not.

— jamesmiller (@JimMiller) April 26, 2017

ESPN UPDATE: I have multiple sources at ESPN telling me they expect the number of layoffs to be closer to 100 people than 70. Awful news.

— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) April 26, 2017

After 17 years reporting on #NFL, I've been informed that I'm being laid off by ESPN effective immediately. I have no plans to retire

— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) April 26, 2017

After 13 years of sticks and pucks can share that as of today my tenure at ESPN is at a close. I look forward to the next adventure.

— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) April 26, 2017



April 26th, 2017 at 10:41 AM ^

Yes, actually. My 11-year-old sports nut son watches ESPN literally constantly. I love Michigan sports with a passion, but literally don't care about anything else, especially professional sports. So it is with great frustration that every time I walk into any room he is in, I see some retired professional athlete jabbering on about some active professional athlete, and why he shouldn't have pooped the morning before... 


April 27th, 2017 at 4:10 AM ^

i don't consider anyone retired until they can draw SS/medicare, so what, 65? Anyone else no matter how wealthy is just unemployed / a bum. I certainly don't use the term retired on a damn 23 year old who decided to *quit* football. This only reveals to me how plainly it's not a real job


April 26th, 2017 at 12:31 PM ^

but in the interest of not giving Disney the impression someone from this house is interested in their crappy content, I put on an old movie I've seen a thousand times before... has the same effect.

Most of the memorandums, briefs, and articles I've had to write so far have been to the sound of The Patriot, Braveheart, or A Few Good Men.


April 26th, 2017 at 11:37 PM ^

Nope... they've invested in WAAYYY too much garbage talent: #1a Herm Edwards talking as if he's knowledgeable about what it takes to be a championship coach; #1b Woody, Skip and Stephen A all indescribably horrible; #1c Mike Golic Jr...that's just insulting and demonstrates total contempt for your base. #2 Dan L, Stu and Dan's dad; #2.1 Jemelle; #2.1A....I don't even have the energy to type 1/10th of their no talent or "only a caricature of one's old self" talent...idiots took over and forgot what it was supposed to be about...AND THEY HAVE CONTRIBUTED AS MUCH AS ANYONE TO RUINING THE IN-GAME EXPERIENCE. I hope they enjoy catering to the Finebaum crowd as they sell their soul for the Segregation Empowerment Conference, so Jim doesn't come down and take "their" boys. If ESPN had any journalistic integrity left they'd be DESTROYING the SEC and NCAA over the rules changes and the opportunities they are inarguably taking away from kids (disproportionately kids from lower socioeconomic means from around the country and especially down south). On an admitted side note: Equally embarrassing is the lack of spine from Delaney and other B1G coaches who could stand up with Harbaugh, but are to fraudulent and selfish to risk doing the right thing if they think it will help JH.
Regardless, bad talent, bad programming and a non-existent journalistic compass seems like a possible precursor to mass layoffs.


April 26th, 2017 at 10:34 AM ^

I hope they don't lose any good ones - I'd love to be able to pick and choose, and it wouldn't be a hard decision in most cases.

It's sad for the employees when it was management's poor judgement and runaway spending that led to the current cash crisis.


April 26th, 2017 at 12:12 PM ^

Well the simple fact is that the majority of people in the US don't care about hockey. So for most people, if you're given the choice between a discussion of sports you do care about (NFL draft, NBA matchups), or a recap/coverage of a sport you don't follow or know anything about, then most people are gonna choose the discussion.

I mean c'mon, say it's the end of July, early August. And you have a choice of what to watch, either a discussion of UM/OSU and what their results will be for the 2017 season, or a recap of European handball. If I had extra cash, I'd be willing to bet most people on this site would pick talking about UM/OSU over 95% of the time

Hotel Putingrad

April 26th, 2017 at 1:59 PM ^

I'd rather watch the Eupoean handball recap than hear random ESPN personalies give their opinion about a game three months down the road. it was obscure sports coverage that put the network on the map. they would be well served to returning to that approach. Beside, my subscription to OSQ is about to expire.


April 26th, 2017 at 11:31 AM ^

Please elaborate.


Just because ESPN took it out of the national discussion (and the NHL brass are absolute morons for letting them do so) back when they had that kind of pull doesn't mean it's not a great sport. 


When you say 3rd- tier do you mean popularity alone? And what do your top 2 tiers look like?


Stats show that no one under 35 watches baseball anymore but espn covers the hell out of it so people think it's more relevant than it really is. 


April 26th, 2017 at 12:24 PM ^

C'mon dude, it's been 10+ years since NBC took over for ESPN as the primary coverage, we have to stop blaming ESPN for the fact that hockey is getting stomped on, ratings-wise, by the other Big 3.

Last year, the Stanley Cup Final averaged 3.948 million viewers, and peaked at 5 million viewers in Game 6.

Baseball, which you claim isn't as relevant as people think it is, averaged 3 million viewers for the 9 Divisional Series'. And that's for a 1-round matchup!

Every year, the other Big 3 (NBA, NFL, MLB) destroy the NHL by millions and millions of viewers, and that has nothing to do with how much ESPN does or doesn't talk about them.


April 26th, 2017 at 7:43 PM ^

I grew up in a poor urban area, town of about 500. And for those of us that had no money we didn't even know some of our friends were playing hockey until after the fact. They  sure in hell weren't going to invite us kids with no hockey gear - most of us were able to get a pair of skates somehow - to show up and watch them. And unless you were in one of the larger school districts, it wasn't going to be offered as a a school sport. Even then, I have a strong suspicion it was one of those that demanded some type of payment by the family. Just too damn expensive and brings in no money for most schools. 


April 26th, 2017 at 2:28 PM ^

I'm not blaming ESPN. I'm blaming the Dave Brandon-level greedy, ass dickheads who are tanking the league. Having said that, "3rd tier" is a bit of a stretch. Also, again...ESPN once (and still to some degree) dictated the national sports discussion....because of this they keep talking about baseball which still hits home with millions of Americans....(mostly over 35.)..and they're the ones who still contribute to the ratings as millenials don't have TV subscriptions. It's totally the NHLs fault...


and hockey has fallen in popularity. But 3rd tier is a joke.