- Michelle McLoughlin/Reuters
ESPN president John Skipper wrote a memo to ESPN employees confirming the big layoffs coming to the company.
The coming layoffs were first reported by The Big Lead’s Jason McIntyre in September, and Bloomberg’s Scott Soshnick and Christopher Palmeri reported on Tuesday that the layoffs would be announced Wednesday.
While Bloomberg said ESPN may eliminate as many as 350 employees, an ESPN representative told Business Insider the number was closer to 300.
In a memo to employees that was also posted on ESPN’s Media Zone, Skipper says: “Beginning today, we will be enacting a number of organizational changes at ESPN to better support our future goals – a process that will include the elimination of a number of positions, impacting friends and colleagues across the organization.”
McIntyre reported that the layoffs came from a push from Disney, which owns ESPN, for the company to cut $350 million from its budget in preparation for a huge nine-year, $24 billion TV deal with the NBA.
We carefully considered and deliberated alternatives before making each decision. The people who will be leaving us have been part of ESPN’s success, and they have our respect and appreciation for their contributions. We will be as supportive as we can during this transition, including providing a minimum of 60-days notice, a severance package reflective of their years of service, and outplacement benefits to help them find future employment.
Skipper also added: “The decisions affecting our employees are never made lightly. It never gets any easier, but it’s a necessary part of our continued strategic evolution to ensure ESPN remains the leader in sports as well as the premier sports destination on any platform.”