Which laid off ESPN reporter or personality will be missed the most?
ESPN laid off dozens of reporters, writers, analysts, talking heads, and behind-the-scenes folks yesterday. If the names were surprising—some of these people had worked at ESPN for decades, and some were practically synonymous with the network—the layoffs themselves were not. They’ve been coming for months, and really they’ve been coming for years. ESPN has been making relatively invisible cuts for a long time. Hundreds of behind-the-scenes people—essential to ESPN’s functioning but unseen by and unknown to viewers—were laid off in Oct. 2015. Thousands of live games aired on ESPN and its sister networks, perhaps a majority of them, are now broadcast remotely, with as few personnel as necessary on-site. It was only a matter of time before the axe swung down on public-facing employees, too, even if the amount of money this saves is relatively trivial.
John Skipper has just sent memo to all @espn employees. Layoffs announced today. Around 50 names you will recognize; another 50 you may not.
— jamesmiller (@JimMiller) April 26, 2017
I’ll check with Elias but this might be a record number of buzzwords in a “we’re laying off a bunch of people” announcement. pic.twitter.com/TiKXp8xdNH
— Barry Petchesky (@barry) April 26, 2017
Sad day for many families. Declining cable subscriptions combined with ESPN paying outrageous rights fees led to this. https://t.co/zRO1CzzGkp
— Dave Holmes (@DaveHolmesTV) April 26, 2017
Hearing now from several @espn employees who, despite advanced word, are "in shock" and "frozen." This is an awful day for all in Bristol.
— jamesmiller (@JimMiller) April 26, 2017
Former ESPN personality Colin Cowherd:
“I told my producers, ‘Fellas, it’ll never be the same here. You cannot pay four times for the house [more] than what you paid for the house last year. And I said this company will never be the same. It was at that point I started looking, and this is not going to end today. They have really cost-prohibitive contracts, combined with cord-cutting. I said it the next day [in 2015], it’s awful, and it will happen annually for the next decade. These firings are awful. It makes me sick. The good news is most of the people let go are really talented, but this is all about business, and when you have overpaid for products — sometimes six and seven hundred million more than you had to pay — certainly with the NBA that’s the case, they just pay way too much for it. They’re often letting go of the most expensive people they feel they can let go. So there’s a lot of really talented people out there over the next couple of weeks on the market. My feeling about it is that a lot of them are going to land in really good places.”
Deadspin has a running list of ESPN layoffs here.
What do the people think?
@espn not a single tweet or article about all the layoffs? No TYs, nothing? Poor form and indicative of your current problems.
— Mike Watkins (@bucsfanlouville) April 27, 2017
— Taylor Hubert (@T_Hubert) April 26, 2017
— Antony Copland (@NorwichAntony) April 26, 2017
On the hockey guys:
— Scord⭕️ (@NathanScordo) April 27, 2017
Scott Burnside, Joe McDonald, Pierre LeBrun have been laid off.
This is the most attention #ESPN execs have paid to hockey in 15 years.
— Zachary Abate (@zabate) April 26, 2017
I can't thank Scott Burnside @OvertimeScottB enough for his advice + kindness over the yrs. Any outlet would be lucky to have him. Total pro
— Sean Hartnett (@HartnettHockey) April 26, 2017
Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside also gone from ESPN. Rip, NHL coverage.
— Zachary Babb (@Babbosphere) April 26, 2017
@CJBulanda They shed all of their hockey analysts and a lot of their "depth". At least Trent Dilfer and Jim Bowden are gone?
— Schlasser (@UrinatingTree) April 27, 2017
At least ESPN got rid of the facade that they covered hockey by firing their hockey staff during the playoffs #ESPNcuts
— Jonathan Pummell (@Jpummell94) April 26, 2017
@espn so you fired Ed Werder, but kept LZ Granderson, and Ramona Shelburne?!? Holy shit! Who's running things in Bristol?!?
— Kevin Carte (@coachkev3) April 27, 2017
— Nathan Bosiak (@nathanbosiak) April 26, 2017
@EdWerderespn I was shocked to hear your name on that list. I hope someone hires you quick. You did a great job covering the Cowboys when
— Dennis Pelkey II (@pelkey3904) April 27, 2017
@Football_Rob Right. When is the last time you really asked yourself. I wonder what Ed Werder thinks about this topic?? You don't.
— Trey Crosby III Guru (@TCIIIyeee) April 27, 2017
Why the hell did you fire Ed Werder? @espn and why the hell did it take you this long to fire Danny Kanell and Trent Dilfer
— Kenny Kneisel (@kkneisel17) April 27, 2017
— Peter Bahi (@PeterBahi) April 27, 2017
Well, ESPN is hardly the first person to fire Trent Dilfer.
— Fool Preacher (@FoolPreacher) April 27, 2017
@TheRalphRetort I get Trent Dilfer being gone, but Danny Kanell? Get rid of SAS and FirstTake first.
— Chris (@C_Ward5) April 27, 2017
Am I the only one who's ecstatic that Trent Dilfer got fired from ESPN.
— Jonathan Bedoya (@JBedoya27) April 27, 2017
— Jim McGuire (@jimcmcguire) April 27, 2017
Trent Dilfer > both Hasselbacks combined #ESPNLayoffs
— joe (@SpringTrails216) April 27, 2017
At least Trent Dilfer is gone from ESPN, so there's 1 good thing
— Dan Makowski (@DanMak10) April 27, 2017
Probably the best thing about the ESPN Layoffs is Trent Dilfer gettin the boot..
— Bigg UU (@BiggUU254) April 27, 2017
ESPN finally got rid of Trent Dilfer. Been saying this for years
— PeteSwenson (@ZPSWENSON) April 27, 2017
— Melvin (@BallGame723) April 27, 2017
— CHARLIE DONT SURF (@illwill_ATX) April 27, 2017
I hope fox sports picks up Jay Crawford.
— Hector (@BrokenHector) April 27, 2017
@DylansFreshTake And Jay Crawford..they did him dirty too
— Johnny C (@jvcarey23) April 27, 2017
— Tom Passmore (@TheLeaderPass) April 27, 2017
@jaycrawfordespn Best of Luck! ESPN is losing a great anchor…
— Julio (@juliocruz261) April 27, 2017
@ESPNAndyKatz You will be out of work for about five minutes, max. You'll be just fine. Good luck.
— Burty (@Colbs3310) April 27, 2017
@ESPNAndyKatz This is a gut punch for me as a reader/viewer. Always loved and looked forward to your reporting. Will follow you to wherever you end up.
— Taylor (@claptr) April 27, 2017
— Josh Skillman (@JoshuaDSkillman) April 27, 2017
Wait! Andy Katz in gone from ESPN?! They are really bad at the whole talent evaluation thing. ESPN now HTPN™ (Hot Takes Programming Network)
— Christine Alyssa (@chrisalyss) April 27, 2017
140 characters isn't enough to describe the quality of the person, father, husband, friend and journalist that is @ESPNAndyKatz.
— Dana O'Neil (@DanaONeilWriter) April 27, 2017
— JarMadKid8676 (@jarrousnation24) April 27, 2017
ESPN shouldve got rid of @BrittMcHenry a long time ago. Dont feel bad. Plenty of poles 4 cute blondes in America
— Harold R. Brown (@BadHat_Harry) April 27, 2017
— nevaRWilliams (@nevaRWilliams) April 27, 2017
I think I speak for everyone when I say that if there's any justice in this whole ESPN thing, Britt McHenry will have to work at an impound.
— Brendan Kennedy (@swingkennedy) April 27, 2017
@BrittMcHenry wherever you end up Britt you can count on me to continue being a fan of yours! I always continue wishing you all the best! 👍
— Dave (@Its_Cobra13) April 27, 2017
Yet Stephen A Smith remains:
— Mike James (@detroitman606) April 26, 2017
happy to hear Scott Burnside was laid off by @espn today. Hes a hack that thought he knew hockey. Stephen a Smith still has a job though
— Travis Symington (@IamGEMington) April 26, 2017
— N~ (@cubsfan317) April 27, 2017
— Nathan Smith (@Nathan___Smith) April 27, 2017
— RJ (@RJ3010) April 27, 2017
What do you think? Who will be missed most?