ESPN announced plans to lay off 150 production and technical workers as the company continues to shift their focus to a more digital future. Employees on the on-air talent and SportsCenter news program teams won’t be affected and will have minimal impact. Most of the jobs eliminated include digital content, studio production, and technology as the company continues to invest in ways that will best position them to serve the modern sports industry. Since 2015, ESPN cut 300 jobs and 100 more this past April.
ESPN has been hit with rising fees to broadcast live events and has lost about 10 million subscribers during the past 6 years. The company aims to grow their business by planning to launch an app based service, “ESPN+”. This app allows viewers to purchase sporting events a la carte and will likely be finalized by early next year. A new studio in New York is also looking to open that will serve as home base for a new show. ESPN hopes to streamline and merge their news gathering operation across all formats and evolve the SportsCenter show as well.
“Today we are informing approximately 150 people at ESPN that their jobs are being eliminated,” the network’s president, John Skipper, said in a memo. "The majority of the jobs eliminated are in studio production, digital content, and technology, and they generally reflect decisions to do less in certain instances and redirect resources.”