ESPN cutting 150 jobs in upcoming round of layoffs

ESPN Los Angeles
The latest updates match up with reports earlier this month that ESPN intended to cut more than 100 jobs.

The size and scope of an upcoming round of layoffs at ESPN is beginning to come into focus, with the latest estimate putting the total at about 150 jobs.

“The majority of the jobs eliminated are in studio production, digital content, and technology and they generally reflect decisions to do less in certain instances and re-direct resources,” said ESPN President John Skipper in a memo.

The latest updates match up with reports earlier this month that the sports network intended to cut more than 100 jobs, including some on-air talent, after the Thanksgiving holiday.

This will be the third significant round of layoffs for ESPN in a little more than two years. In April, the company laid off around 100 people. In October 2015, the network laid off about 300 employees.

Following the newest round of layoffs, ESPN will reportedly fly its entire staff out to its Connecticut headquarters for a presentation covering the recent updates to the company’s social media policy. The meeting will take place Dec. 13.

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The cuts at ESPN are coming as rising programming costs are bumping up against declining subscribers and lower overall viewership. Despite ESPN’s struggles, the network did manage to even out its performance somewhat in parent company Disney’s latest earnings report.

Disney earlier this month reported its third-quarter earnings, and although revenues overall were down 3%, the company’s cable networks segment, which houses ESPN, remained largely flat with revenues of $3.95 billion.

While cable networks like Freeform struggled, results at ESPN remained flat as higher programming costs and lower advertising revenue were offset by higher affiliate revenue. The decrease in advertising revenue was pinned on lower average viewership and lower units delivered. The affiliate revenue growth came from contractual rate increases, though ESPN continued to lose subscribers.