It appears that Disney Parks, Experiences, and Products will not be the only part of The Walt Disney Company to suffer a round of major layoffs.
According to a report from Front Office Sports, ESPN: The Worldwide Leader in Sports could lose somewhere between 300-700 employees as it tries to recover after the pandemic shut down almost all professional sporting events.
The report states the following:
One source pegged the potential number of job losses between 300 and 700 employees. Another estimated 400 possible lost jobs.
The cuts are expected to hit hardest among ESPN employees who work behind the camera. But some on-camera TV and radio talents could be impacted — particularly if their contracts are expiring this year.
The network may also ask its highest-earning talent and executives to take a reduction in salary. The goal is to potentially cut tens of millions in salary, said sources.
Front Office Sports also mentioned that ESPN has been letting go of its high-salary stars such as Keith Olbermann who announced on October 6 that he was leaving ESPN early to start a political show on YouTube.
Related: Disney-Owned ESPN Asks Top Commentators to Take Pay Cuts
A source also claimed that ESPN was tightening their belts in order to go after big deals. “They’re going after a bigger NFL portfolio,” the source reportedly said. “They’re going after the NHL. They need stuff for ESPN+. That all takes money.”
Another source tied in the potential round of layoffs directly to Disney who already had to let go of tens of thousands of Cast Members across Disneyland Resort and Walt Disney World Resort.
Headquartered in Bristol, Connecticut–where it employes 4,000 people–ESPN employes 6,500 people worldwide. Front Office Sports says they declined to comment on the story.
Considering ESPN’s decline to comment and the anonymity of the sources in this report, we highly suggest reading this story with a grain of salt until the official word is released from ESPN or The Walt Disney Company. However, given the severity of the layoff situation at hand, this would not come as a surprise to many.
Do you think ESPN is going to face a round of layoffs? Let us know in the comments!