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April 26, 2017

Massive Layoffs at ESPN, With 100 On-Air "Personalities" and "Writers" Getting the Ax

Booyah, baby.

CNN reports that ESPN will cut "television, radio and online personalities and a limited number of additional off-air jobs." The job cuts are effective immediately.

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

Hearing now from several @espn employees who, despite advanced word, are "in shock" and "frozen." This is an awful day for all in Bristol.

-- jamesmiller (@JimMiller) April 26, 2017


The cuts come as ESPN loses cable subscribers to "cord-cutting" and faces increased pressure on costs.

The network has spent billions of dollars in recent years on rights deals with major sports leagues like the NFL and NBA and college conferences like the ACC, Big Ten and SEC.

Sounds like a really good time for ESPN to run an hour-long tribute to Colin Kaepernick's knee.

Meanwhile, Outkick the Coverage, which has been predicting this for a while, is gloating. OtC's point has always been that ESPN spent like a drunken sailor who doesn't understand profit and loss to secure broadcast rights for a bunch of things, without any plan of how they'd actually recoup those costs in advertising fees. I guess they thought they could just keep jacking up their automatic/no-opt-out cable fee "subscriptions."

Nope! But I'm sure that's the next shoe to drop -- Disney will play hardball with cable companies and start demanding that people be forced to pay $11 per month (or something) for ESPN or else they won't be able to carry the Disney kid's channels and the other Disney kid channel, ABC.

I'd say it's a win-win for customers if cable companies refuse.

And I think the public should start letting cable companies know that if they jack up costs to cover this shit, another cable will get cut.

BTW, why are Republicans not insisting on a la carte pricing?

I've heard it claimed before that if there's a la carte pricing, ESPN and MSNBC suffer, sure, but FoxNews would suffer too, as obviously a lot of the country would also not subscribe to that channel.

But with FoxNews apparently going in a more liberal direction, and with much more to be gained anyway from putting the big hurt on cable and TV stations, it's time for a la carte pricing, not the socialist system we have now.

But Republicans won't do that because they're paid corporate stooges in the first place and they're cowards scared of their own farts.

(And besides: a la carte pricing would kind of force the Murdochs to continue to keep Fox conservative -- you can't get people to pay extra money for a service that is exactly like the service they're already getting as part of their base package. Competition forces brand differentiation.)

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posted by Ace at 12:22 PM

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