Sports fans watching ESPN have noticed that the network has shifted rather far to the left by injecting politics into the apolitical sports world, and now the company is paying a price…a hefty price.
Its parent company Disney has long toed the liberal line with relatively little consequences, however, ESPN isn’t so lucky. In fact, citing the need to drastically cut costs due to decreased revenues, the company is laying off over 100 on-air personalities.
In addition to the 100 on-air personalities, Yahoo! News reports that the network is also laying off a “limited number of other positions,” thus proving the network is in trouble.
More from Yahoo!:
ESPN’s subscriber numbers have dropped steadily, weighing on parent company Disney, forcing a new round of cost-cutting. When Disney demands cuts, ESPN can make those cuts however it chooses.
ESPN had major layoffs in 2015, as it did two years before that, in 2013. Both times, it cut around 300 people. This time around, the network reportedly sought to cut tens of millions of dollars, and decided that ridding itself of big expensive contracts was the way to do it.
As ESPN’s content strategy evolves and it looks to reach consumers on platforms other than traditional cable, it expects more from its on-air people than ever before. A source at ESPN frames the cuts this way: “We are focusing on people that can be versatile and appear cross-platform. If you’re making X, are you justifying that salary? It’s all about versatility.” Translation: old-school veterans that appear only on one platform, and don’t do much else, are the ones in trouble.
Actually, the real translation is that America’s tired of liberal politics being injected into everything, so they’re fleeing networks that do so. This is why Fox Sports One, a direct competitor to ESPN, has been seeing better ratings – it leaves politics at the door and reports about the sports it’s covering.
What a novel concept.