Jim Miller, who literally co-wrote the book on ESPN’s history, shared this on Twitter.
In March, Miller estimated that the layoffs would affect between 40 and 50 “front-facing” employees and that anyone who isn’t one of ESPN’s core personalities should be worried for their job. On Tuesday, however, Deitsch said on Facebook that “the numbers will be larger than previously reported.”
Michael McCarthy of the Sporting News reported Monday that some ESPN anchors have approached network officials about taking a pay cut to stay in Bristol. Other personalities, meanwhile, are being offered buyouts, especially those people with multiple years remaining on their contracts.
“They can accept 50 percent of the money remaining on their deals and walk away free as birds, or they can hold out for every penny owed, in which case they’ll probably benched and rendered largely invisible on ESPN TV/radio/digital media platforms moving forward,” McCarthy writes of the deal being offered.
At least a few employees already have been told that they’re being let go, including Paul Kuharsky, who covered the Tennessee Titans for ESPN.
The layoffs could have a significant impact on ESPN’s online reporters. McCarthy’s sources tell him that “30 or so” staff writers will not have their contracts renewed. Adam Rubin, who formerly covered the New York Mets for ESPN, said last month that ESPN informed him his contract was not going to be renewed so he asked to be bought out early so he could look for another job.
“ESPN seems to be bleeding money because of cord-cutting, so my salary was unattractive to them,” Rubin told the -30-. “And the new MLB editor at ESPN wants to get away from ‘thorough’ beat coverage — that’s the precise word she used — and I suppose I was the sacrificial lamb to hammer home that point.”