The well-known sports network that is owned by Disney is reportedly in the process of laying off twenty employees in order to reach its financial goals. As part of this wave of cost-cutting measures, the network is looking to eliminate some of its highest-paid positions, specifically those of its on-air commentators.
In the first round of layoffs, NBA commentators Jeff Van Gundy and Jalen Rose, along with Max Kellerman and Keyshawn Johnson, were among those let go. Additionally, Suzy Kolber, an anchor for ESPN, and Steve Young, an NFL analyst, will be let go. In addition, ESPN has parted ways with NFL draft analyst Todd McShay, who had been with the network since 2006, as well as quarterback Matt Hasselbeck.
“Given the current environment, ESPN has determined it necessary to identify some additional cost savings in the area of public-facing commentator salaries, and that process has begun,” ESPN stated in a statement. “That being said, the process has begun.” This process will involve the elimination of a select number of jobs in the near future, and we will continue to place a strong emphasis on cost management as we negotiate individual contract renewals in the upcoming months.
According to CNBC, in addition to this wave of layoffs, the network has indicated that it does not intend to extend the contracts of more on-air staff when those individuals’ contracts come to an end.
Van Gundy, who had previously served as head coach of both the New York Knicks and the Houston Rockets, started working for ESPN in the year 2007. Since its inception, ESPN’s “NBA Countdown” has had Rose as a regular contributor.
According to the New York Post, Johnson signed a five-year agreement last year that was worth around $18 million, and despite the layoff, he will be able to earn the whole amount despite having signed the contract. According to The Post’s sources, Kellerman brought home around $5 million annually.
According to what was stated by the network, “This is an extremely challenging process, and it involves individuals who have had a tremendous impact on our company.” These challenging decisions, which are based less on individual merit and more on general efficiency, will assist us in meeting our financial goals and ensuring future development.
Q1. Who was laid off from ESPN?
According to CNN, a person familiar with the layoffs has confirmed that ESPN would be dismissing roughly 20 prominent sports commentators as part of a cost-cutting drive. Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, Jalen Rose, and LaPhonso Ellis, according to the source, were among those let go. Even Suzy Kolber reported being let go from her job.
Q2. Why is ESPN laying everyone off?
CNBC said that the layoffs were made to help ESPN reach its financial goals for the current fiscal year and beyond. According to CNBC, ESPN’s goal with this round was to reduce the salary of its on-air talent in the hopes of retaining more workers across the network.