ESPN is expected to cut a significant number of staffers who deliver content on TV, on the radio and on the internet as the company examines changes it will have to make to keep pace with evolving consumer behavior.
According to a report in Sports Illustrated, the cuts are expected to take place over the next four months. It was unclear how many jobs would be impacted.
The cuts could result in cost cutting in the tens of millions of dollars range, the report said, at a time when the sports cable network is under pressure from shrinking subscriber numbers to maintain profit growth for its parent The Walt Disney Co.
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ESPN has already launched a number of new shows that stress personality and has reformatted some hours of SportsCenter away from what had been a cookie cutter approach, with Scott Van Pelt running the show at midnight and Michael Smith and Jemele Hill taking over The Six at 6 p.m. Mike Greenberg, of ESPN Radio's Mike & Mike show is also expected to get a TV gig in the near future.
ESPN has recently lost high profile talent including Bill Simmons, Keith Olbermann, Mike Tirico, Jason Whitlock and Colin Cowherd leading to speculation about belt tightening.
In a statement, ESPN said: “We have long been about serving fans and innovating to create the best content for them. Today's fans consume content in many different ways and we are in a continuous process of adapting to change and improving what we do. Inevitably that has consequences for how we utilize our talent. We are confident that ESPN will continue to have a roster of talent that is unequaled in sports.”