ESPN now reportedly has a timeframe in place for when it wants to finish up a round of job cuts.
According to Sports Illustrated, the sports network is looking to complete the staff reductions before its upfronts presentation scheduled for May 16, and possibly by May 9, before parent company Disney holds its quarterly earnings call.
Last month, SI reported that job cuts were on their way for ESPN, which had to reduce “tens of millions” in staff salary. The projected size of the salary reductions means that some of ESPN’s most recognizable faces could be leaving the network. Contracts up for renewal could be particularly at risk, and ESPN could be considering buying out some contracts as well. All told, the damage is expected to be done by June.
This will be the second round of significant cuts in fewer than two years for ESPN. In October 2015, the network laid off about 300 employees.
ESPN could be under the gun after another quarter in which the impact of higher programming costs, coupled with falling ratings, hurt Disney.
Revenues at the company’s Cable Networks division revenues fell 2% to $4.4 billion and operating income decreased 11% to $0.9 billion. ESPN’s combination of higher programming costs and lower advertising revenue was partially offset by affiliate revenue growth. But ESPN’s results were hurt by rate increases for NBA and NFL programming. Sinking advertising revenue was due to lower impressions and rates, which Disney said occurred partly because of a shift in scheduling for some College Football Playoff games.