(WTNH)–ESPN announced a much-anticipated round of layoffs on Wednesday, letting go of plenty of names sports fans have grown accustomed to over the years.
The layoffs were reported to affect around 100 people, inlcuding about 50 on-air personalities and reporters and online writers. They come as the company has paid out billions in rights fees to televise sporting events, then passed those costs on to consumers’ cable bills, only to see more and more people getting rid of cable TV.
Network president John Skipper announced the layoffs in a message sent to employees Wednesday:
“A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions. 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. Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent — anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play — necessary to meet those demands. We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week. A limited number of other positions will also be affected and a handful of new jobs will be posted to fill various needs.”
Here’s a list of the on-air talent and writers who have announced they’ve been let go:
Danny Kanell of ESPN Radio’s “Rusillo & Kanell”:
Poured my heart and soul into ESPN for last 8 years. Moved my wife and 3 kids to CT to go “all in” 5 years ago. Bummed it ended in 3 minutes
— Danny Kanell (@dannykanell) April 26, 2017
Longtime NFL reporter Ed Werder:
After 17 years reporting on #NFL, I’ve been informed that I’m being laid off by ESPN effective immediately. I have no plans to retire
— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) April 26, 2017
Longtime MLB writer Jayson Stark:
For 17 yrs I’ve had a dream job covering baseball for ESPN. Today is my last day. Thanks to all the great people at ESPN, MLB & all of you!
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) April 26, 2017
Former NFL QB & Analyst Trent Dilfer:
Laid off by ESPN today.Although sad cause I loved my job, mostly filled w/gratitude & appreciation for the 9 years #GreatFriendsAndTeammates
— Trent Dilfer (@DilfersDime) April 26, 2017
College football insider Brett McMurphy:
After 5 great years, I’ve been laid off by ESPN. It was a tremendous opportunity & I enjoyed working w/a lot of really, really good people
— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) April 26, 2017
Former MLB GM & Analyst Jim Bowden:
I feel blessed & privileged to have worked @ESPN and most importantly work w/ so many great people.Thank you. I look forward to what’s next
— Jim Bowden (@JimBowdenMLB) April 26, 2017
“SportsCenter” host Jay Crawford:
After 14 wonderful years my time at espn is over. From Cold Pizza to First Take to SC I made more friends than I can name. Forever grateful! pic.twitter.com/WNkUGuXeVl
— Jay Crawford (@jaycrawfordespn) April 26, 2017
College basketball analyst Len Elmore:
Gee, I feel like I am now part of an exclusive club. #ESPNLayoff. For 21 yrs. I tried to represent the best in college hoops. Adios Bristol!
— Len Elmore (@LenElmore) April 26, 2017
“SportsCenter” host Jaymee Sire:
I was only at ESPN for 4 years, but they were some of the best of my career. Thanks to all of the fans and to my entire SportsCenterAM crew. pic.twitter.com/gxKuUh13ck
— Jaymee Sire (@jaymee) April 26, 2017
NHL reporter Pierre LeBrun:
Well folks, as you can tell by my new Twitter handle, I was also among the cuts today at ESPN.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) April 26, 2017
NHL reporter Scott Burnside:
After 13 years of sticks and pucks can share that as of today my tenure at ESPN is at a close. I look forward to the next adventure.
— Scott Burnside (@OvertimeScottB) April 26, 2017
NHL writer Joe McDonald:
After nearly eight years of covering the NHL, MLB and the NFL at ESPN, it’s time for the next chapter in my career.
— Joe McDonald (@MrMomJoeyMac) April 26, 2017
College basketball writer Dana O’Neil:
Add me to the list. Just got the ‘call.’ I’ve been informed my contract will not be renewed at ESPN.
— Dana O’Neil (@ESPNDanaOneil) April 26, 2017
Radio host Robin Lundberg:
Today was my last day on air at ESPN Radio. On to the next…I’ll let everyone know what that is when I do. pic.twitter.com/1wTnGfRVcW
— Robin Lundberg (@robinlundberg) April 26, 2017
Announcer Chris Hassel:
Grateful for all the opportunities I had in my 4+ years at ESPN. Many great people lost their jobs today. But many other greats remain.
— Chris Hassel (@Hassel_Chris) April 26, 2017
Analytics writer Rufus Peabody:
Just found out ESPN is not renewing my contract for next fb season. Learned a lot and had a lot of fun! Grateful to ESPN for the opportunity
— Rufus Peabody (@RufusPeabody) April 26, 2017
College basketball writer Eamon Brennan:
Bad news morning. I loved every bit of my eight years at ESPN and will miss it, and so many friends and colleagues there, profoundly.
— Eamonn Brennan (@eamonnbrennan) April 26, 2017
College basketball writer C.L. Brown:
Landed in Madrid. Turned on phone 1st time all vacation. Got texts asking if job was safe. Found out it was not. Enjoyed my 4 years, ESPN.
— C.L. Brown (@clbrownespn) April 26, 2017
NBA writer Ethan Strauss:
So, I am no longer with ESPN, as of today. I want to thank all the great people I’ve worked with and, of course, the readers + listeners
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) April 26, 2017
Pac-12 reporter Chantel Jennings:
Like many others, I got the call today from ESPN that today would be my last with them. A few parting words: https://t.co/pBfnewUHIG
— Chantel Jennings (@ChantelJennings) April 26, 2017
NBA and Houston Rockets writer Calvin Watkins
After seven great years at ESPN I’ve been let go. Much respect to all the people.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) April 26, 2017
New Orleans Pelicans writer Justin Verrier
No longer at ESPN. Thank you to everyone who read and supported me throughout my 9 years there. Means more than you can know.
— Justin Verrier (@JustinVerrier) April 26, 2017
Feature writer Jane McManus:
Super Bowls, The Trifecta and stories like the one up now are the moments I’ll take with me into free agency starting tomorrow.
— Jane McManus (@janesports) April 26, 2017
I had a great 6+ years at ESPN, but it’s over. I will badly miss all the talented folks there, many of whom I call dear friends. #Onward
— Ashley Fox (@AshleyFoxESPN) April 26, 2017
Sorry to get the call from ESPN this a.m., but grateful for my eight years there and trying to positively look ahead.
— Melissa Isaacson (@mkisaacson) April 26, 2017
Big Ten reporter Austin Ward:
I’ve been informed that I’m no longer employed at ESPN. Greatly enjoyed covering the B1G, and will immediately try to find a new challenge!
— Austin Ward (@AWardSports) April 26, 2017
Big Ten reporter Jesse Temple:
Like other colleagues, I’ve been informed I am no longer working for ESPN. This is a crummy day, but I’ll never stop pursuing my passion.
— Jesse Temple (@jessetemple) April 26, 2017
Big Ten reporter Brian Bennett:
Like far too many other ESPN colleagues today, I’ve been laid off. Enjoyed nine great years here. Thanks for reading and following along.
— Brian Bennett (@BennettESPN) April 26, 2017
Big 12 reporter Max Olson:
I hate that so many terrific ESPN colleagues received the same bad news today. Don’t know what my future holds. But it’ll all work out.
— Max Olson (@max_olson) April 26, 2017
SEC football reporter David Ching
Some personal news pic.twitter.com/jLvoHel3Iv
— David Ching (@davidching77) April 26, 2017
College football writer Ted Miller
Started at ESPN in 2008, but my tenure ended today. Worked w/ some great folks who are now friends. Onward to new challenges.
— Ted Miller (@TedMillerRK) April 26, 2017
Recruiting writer Jeremy Crabtree
Don’t know what my future holds, as like many of my friends I’m still trying to process this, but I am excited about what the next step is.
— Jeremy Crabtree (@jeremycrabtree) April 26, 2017
Recruiting writer Derek Tyson
Not a single part of me is upset w/ESPN. Not one. I valued my time there & thanked God every day for opportunity to work for a great company
— Derek Tyson (@DerekJTyson) April 26, 2017
NFL writer Jarrett Bell
It’s my birthday! And also the day to learn that my side gig @ESPN has come to an end. Great experience. So many classy people to thank.
— Jarrett Bell (@JarrettBell) April 26, 2017
ESPNU show host Brendan Fitzgerald
This morning: Got laid off, went to dentist.
But… BUT: No need for fillings. Things turning around quickly.#PositiveThoughts
— Brendan Fitzgerald (@BrendanFitzESPN) April 26, 2017
On-air personality Reese Waters
ESPN gave me the light and it’s time to leave stage. Sincere gratitude to those who were so kind and supportive. Sorry for the mess I made. pic.twitter.com/jr5jJpZHOe
— Reese Waters (@reesewaters) April 26, 2017
Tennessee Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky
Soccer insider Mike L. Goodman
MLB writer Mark Saxon
L.A. Dodgers reporter Doug Padilla
Rough day. Just learned I will no longer be covering the Dodgers. Enjoyed my 7 years at ESPN. On to the next chapter.
— Doug Padilla (@DougPadilla) April 26, 2017
Columnist Johnette Howard
Boxing Host Marysol Castro:
— Marysol Castro (@marysolcastro) April 26, 2017
SEC Reporter Greg Ostendorf
Golf Commentator Dottie Pepper
Legal Analyst Roger Cossack
Time to go. Thanks to ESPN for allowing me to be their legal analyst for 13 years. Made great friends and have wonderful memories.
— Roger Cossack (@RogerCossack) April 26, 2017
This post will be updated throughout the day.