A former ESPN star broke the company he used to work for on Thursday when it was announced they had cut 500 jobs.
Bob Ley, who is considered the pinnacle of sports journalism at the company, took to ESPN when it revealed that the sports television station laid off 300 people and cut 200 jobs.
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“Try to remain impartial and unwavering when I know about @espn team members being fired today. Can not. It’s not like I see decades of journalism experience, and expertise scrapped. Only when we need it most. Enjoy your DIS stock price and NFL football, ”he tweeted.
Ley was one of the original ESPN hosts, joined the company in 1979 and remained with the company until retiring in June 2019. Ley is a longtime host of “Sports. Center “and has hosted a number of events for the first 24-hour sports network including the first – for the NCAA College Basketball Selection program on television, which is now a major part of March Madness.
But the New Jersey native is perhaps best known for “Out of the Road”, the sports magazine and ESPN’s investigation program. The show has been honored with 15 Sports Emmy Awards since its debut in 1990.
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The Wall Street Journal reported, citing a memorandum from ESPN President and Sports Content Jimmy Pitaro to employees, that the company had eliminated 500 jobs. About 300 will be direct layoffs, the remainder will be open or planned positions that will not be filled.
Pitaro also writes that the cuts are part of a reorganization plan with the focus shifting to digital streaming. The plan predates the coronavirus pandemic but has accelerated over the past few months, he said.
“The pace of change that is happening requires great urgency and we are now going to have to do sports fan service in new ways,” Pitaro wrote in the memo, according to the paper.
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ESPN and Disney have both responded to the challenges posed by the pandemic. Companies have lost advertising revenue from canceled or delayed events. In August, Disney announced the company had lost $ 4.7 billion between April and June and its media network team – including ESPN – was down 10%.