ESPN In Process Of Yet Another Staff Cut
Major satellite sports television channel and media giant ESPN has just finished conducting its latest round of staff cuts, announcing that 150 more positions would be terminated with the same number of employees cut from the payroll. The announcement was made by president John Skipper by means of a memo to staff on Wednesday past.
The statement was formulated in a professional yet sympathetic manner, indicating that the lay-offs would be accompanied by a severance package and bonus as far as what was possible, in an attempt to off-set the sudden financial implications. In most cases, health benefits would also be continued for a time into the future and outplacement services would be at the affected parties’ disposal.
Cuts Mostly To Behind The Scenes Positions
The lay-offs and staff cuts mostly affect the behind the scenes positions like digital content, studio production and general technology. ESPN announced that it would continue to invest in ways that would best serve the eventual outcome of the business and the modern-day sports fan.
The latest round of staff cuts is not the first for the current year. In April it was the turn of on-camera staff and many high-profile writers to come under the axe.
ESPN has cited the current economic climate, a declining subscriber base and its own commitment to increased broadcasting rights packages as the reason for the lay-offs. Ironically, the expansion of broadcasting rights packages is in the interest of increasing revenue and includes a 10 year deal with the National Football League (NFL), a chunky deal with college football play-offs and a nine year deal with the National Basketball Association (NBA).
October of 2015 saw more than 300 behind the scenes support staff getting axed by the media provider.
Restructuring Seems To Be The Point To It All
The lay-off process at the provider seems to be more one of restructuring than cutting back, with ESPN still hiring in some instances. ESPN remains one of the most prestigious media giants to work for, especially relating to positions in the sports media.
ESPN, as well as many other major media providers, is constantly affected by the changing habits of media consumers. ESPN is unlikely to re-sign with major anchors whose contracts are expiring soon, especially those involved with its SportsCentre shows. The SportsCentre shows will more than likely no longer be part and parcel of the ESPNews rift and is expected to be eliminated completely.
When probed about the validity of the rumours surrounding the discontinuation of SportsCentre, ESPN declined to issue any further comments.
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