Sports fans were outraged after hearing that ESPN was going to lay off close to 100 employees that included Trent Dilfer an NFL analyst, Ed Werder a beat reporter for the NFL and Jayson Stark who covered MLB, amongst a host of other well-known and respected workers.
The move was made in an attempt to cut costs as well as realign the network in the new online personality driven media era of today.
While the network did not put an official list out of the people who were let go, names emerged quickly on social media sites including Twitter.
Amongst others that ESPN released were Jay Crawford an anchor on Sports Center, Danny Kanell a radio host, Len Elmore a basketball analyst, Dana O’Neill a college basketball reporter, Joe McDonald a hockey writer and C.L. Brown a reporter for college basketball.
The move was made by ESPN following a recent loss of mover 10 million of its subscribers many of which are cord cutters that are fleeing cable and now stream alternative shows online.
The bottom line has been thinned due to enormous contracts the network signed to carry different sports such as the NFL, where it pays out more than $15.2 billion over a period of 10 years and with the NBA where its contract is $12 billion over a 9-year term.
President of ESPN John Skipper said in a memo to company employees that the network was melding its personality drive distinct SportsCenter editions on TV and its digital only efforts, changes that he pledged to take faster, further, to become more efficient and nimble.
However, fans took to social media expressing their outrage. One said he was going to lay off ESPN. He called it stupid for the network to lay off reporters whom fans have loved for years.
Another said that ESPN was ridding itself of a lot of good talented people and that was a shame.
A third fan upset with EPSN’s decision said that it was a great on their part to fire everyone from hockey on the network but you have not cared about the sport in over 30 years.
Those no longer working for ESPN expressed their sadness but the vast majority also expressed gratitude for their years working for the sports network.
The cutbacks arrive after over 300 workers, who were for the most part behind the scenes, were laid off back in October of 2015.
The network is a Walt Disney Company unit and one of its largest centers for profit.