ESPN to lay off 300 individuals. Here’s the memo

ESPN goes via one other spherical of layoffs.

CNBC obtained a memo to staffers the place ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro confirmed roughly 300 layoffs as its father or mother firm, Disney, shifts to extra direct-to-consumer streaming, and following inside discussions about layoffs associated to Covid-19. ESPN may even half methods with some on-air expertise as soon as contracts expire.

“As you know, we value transparency in our internal dialogue, and that means in both good and challenging times,” Pitaro wrote in the memo. “After much consideration, I have some difficult organizational decisions to share. We will be reducing our workforce, impacting approximately 300 valued team members, in addition to 200 open positions.

Reports surfaced last week that the network could suffer more layoffs, as its parent company is focuses more on its streaming service. Other legacy media companies have had similar rounds of layoffs related to the pandemic and the shift to streaming this year.

Disney CEO Bob Chapek hinted at a possible reduction in staff as the company restructures its media and entertainment divisions into a single organization that will be responsible for content distribution, ad sales and Disney+.

The network, which employs roughly 6,000 people worldwide, also launched a press release from Pitaro on its web site confirming the layoffs.

Dear colleagues,

As you understand, we worth transparency in our inside dialogue, and meaning in each good and difficult instances. After a lot consideration, I’ve some troublesome organizational selections to share. We might be decreasing our workforce, impacting roughly 300 valued staff members, as well as to 200 open positions.

Today is tough as a result of ESPN has at all times been — and can at all times be — fortified by its unbelievable individuals. Teamwork, dedication, spirit and grit have constructed this place and are what make ESPN particular. Prior to the pandemic, we had been deeply engaged in strategizing how finest to place ESPN for future success amidst great disruption in how followers eat sports activities. The pandemic’s important influence on our enterprise clearly accelerated these forward-looking discussions. In the quick time period, we enacted varied steps like government and expertise wage reductions, furloughs and finances cuts, and we carried out revolutionary operations and manufacturing approaches, all in an effort to climate the COVID storm.

We have, nonetheless, reached an inflection level. The pace at which change is going on requires nice urgency, and we should now ship on serving sports activities followers in a myriad of recent methods. Placing sources in help of our direct-to-consumer enterprise technique, digital, and, after all, continued revolutionary tv experiences, is extra essential than ever. However, constructing a profitable future in a altering world means going through laborious decisions. Making knowledgeable selections about how and the place we’d like to go – and, as at all times, in the most effective approach potential – is by far the most difficult job of any management staff.

And, whereas it should be completed trying via a enterprise lens, it additionally should be completed with nice respect and real concern for individuals. We are parting methods with some distinctive staff members – a few of whom have been right here for a very long time – and all of whom have made necessary contributions to ESPN. We’re very grateful for all they’ve meant to us, and I guarantee you we’re taking steps to make their transitions simpler. I’m pleased with the individuals at ESPN.

Together, now we have overcome great challenges and adversity over these previous a number of months and please know that the selections and plans executed at present weren’t made evenly. They are, nonetheless, needed and I’m satisfied that we are going to transfer ahead and successfully navigate this unprecedented disruption. Our Human Resources and Communications groups will proceed to preserve you posted on any updates, and you will be listening to extra element about our future course in the subsequent few weeks. In the meantime, you probably have questions on something outlined on this observe, please don’t hesitate to increase them along with your management staff or HR Business Partner.

With gratitude,


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