"Our content strategy - primarily illustrated in recent months by melding distinct, personality-driven SportsCenter TV editions and digital-only efforts with our biggest sub-brand - still needs to go further, faster...and as always, must be efficient and nimble", said ESPN President John Skipper in a memo sent to employees.
National Hockey League columnist Scott Burnside also tweeted he's done at ESPN after 13 years. That number reportedly includes more than a few on-air personalities and writers from ESPN's roster of television, radio, and online operations.
The job cuts, which will come from the network's sizable stable of on-air and online talent, have always been expected as ESPN looks to pare expenses in the wake of mounting subscriber losses and rising rights fees.
The layoffs predictably will come before Disney, ESPN's parent company, releases 2nd quarter financial results on May 9.
"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.
As viewers increasingly are cutting their cable cords, ESPN has been grappling with a declining subscriber base, as well as increasing broadcasting rights fees for sports programming.
Skipper added that "a limited number of other positions" will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted "to fill various needs".
After 5 great years, I've been laid off by ESPN.
ESPN has announced that they are expected to cut more than 100 employees.
ESPN isn't saying who has been fired. In the company's last quarterly earnings report, ESPN's segmental performance was its usual disappointment, not only losing subscribers but also seeing a decline in average viewership and advertising rates; ad revenues fell 7%, and on top of higher programming costs, many were left wondering about the future of ESPN.
Sports viewing on Disney's networks is down about 4% this year, says Pivotal's Brian Wieser. ESPN is responding with plans to launch a streaming service.