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ESPN hammered once again by holiday blues: Crushing round of layoffs claims 150 studio jobs

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The future doesn’t look bright for ESPN.

ESPN is laying off 150 employees after cutting 100 jobs in April. (Photo: Screen Capture).

The sports network sent out a memo on Wednesday announcing the elimination of 150 jobs, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The company says it’s focusing on cutting jobs in production and technical fields. On-air talent will be left untouched for now.

“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,” wrote ESPN president John Skipper in the memo. “We will continue to invest in ways which will best position us to serve the modern sports fan and support the success of our business.”

The latest layoffs come shortly after ESPN let go of 100 employees in April–including on-air personalities. In 2015, the network cut 300 jobs.

many sports viewers have vowed to cut their cable packages in response to the national anthem protests in the NFL–potentially leading to lost subscribers for ESPN. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

ESPN faces a number of hurdles, including higher fees for broadcasting live events. The higher costs come at a time when the network has lost 10 million subscribers in the last six years, according to Nielsen Media Research.

Political controversies have arguably also taken a toll on ESPN. Since its on-air talent has become increasingly political in covering sports, the network has exposed itself to backlash from both sides of the political aisle.

In one of the most recent organized efforts against ESPN, left-wing fans boycotted the network to protest the suspension of SportsCenter host Jemele Hill, who called for a boycott of NFL advertisers.

ESPN gave Jemele Hill a two-week suspension last month for telling her Twitter followers to boycott NFL advertisers in response to Cowboys owner Jerry Jones promising to bench national anthem-protesting players. (Photo: Screen Capture).

Many conservative fans have also vowed to “cut the cord” on their cable packages as a way of protesting the ongoing national anthem kneeling. Lost cable subscribers translates to fewer subscribers for ESPN.

The network is now walking on a tight-rope in which any action (or inaction) can potentially offend one side of the political spectrum or the other.


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