The ESPN Layoffs Will Be Massive in Scope, Affect 500 Jobs

Kyle Koster
\ / Mike Windle/Getty Images

A flurry of articles from those tapped into the sports media world anticipating layoffs at ESPN have cropped up this week. The full scope was not known until this morning, and sadly, it is massive. Andrew Marchand of the New York Post, Richard Deitsch of The Athletic, and others have obtained a memo from president Jimmy Pitario outlining the plan going forward and it involves laying off 300 employees and declining to fill 200 currently unoccupied positions.

Pitaro points to this moment as an inflection point as ESPN, like so many other outlets, is trying to weather the storm of a COVID world. On-air personalities and executives, among the 6,500 or so employees at the company, have taken significant salary reductions in response to the challenges already.

This is the deepest of all the recent reductions at the company. In 2015, around 300 behind-the-scenes personnel were let go. In 2017, around 100 front-facing people were laid off.