Layoffs have begun at sports media giant ESPN, where upwards of 400 employees are expected to lose their jobs.
ESPN, which is owned by the Walt Disney Company, confirmed the news after sports website Deadspin reported it.
“We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs. While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive," said ESPN in a statement.
Mind you, these layoffs are occurring two weeks after Disney's media segment posted a 6 percent increase in profits, up to just a shade under $5 billion. That is against operating income of $1.86 billion. In other words, Disney is making some serious cash, with ESPN being a big part of that. Forbes Magazine recently called the network "the world's most valuable media property," and estimated its worth at $40 billion.
While details about the layoffs are still emerging, a few notes have leaked out, including the fact that ESPN is cancelling late night program UNITE, which is a new series that launched on ESPNU. The move is not official yet, but it is believed to be ending in July. Other than that, the company’s Denver Office in the Denver Tech Center was closed yesterday. Those are the only known cuts at this time.
What are your thoughts on ESPN?