ESPN has been through some troubling times over the past year. There are a number of things that could be causing this issue, and now, it seems like the bad news is still rolling.
A rumor is swirling that was initially published by Sporting News. They claim that multiple sources have come to them to confirm that there are even more layoffs coming to ESPN. The last batch of layoffs came in late April of this year, resulting in millions of dollars of severance costs to the sports giant with a politically left-lean.
ESPN has always been political. For the most part, it was all but ignored by a majority of the right-leaning audience.
However, things took a crazy turn when protesters started kneeling in the NFL during the national anthem. This is regarded as a serious issue by many, and ESPN is facing the consequences. Their ratings are not what they used to be before the protests started.
Their ratings have since dropped, though they are still much higher than their competitors such as Fox Sports 1. However, this doesn’t mean that they have the money to pay their all-star staff members.
It is unknown if the controversial Jemele Hill is included in the group of people who will be laid off — if, in fact, one occurs. Hill was under fire for making negative comments about President Trump being a “white supremacist” and then she was suspended for tweeting about staging a boycott against Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones.
The sources that have emerged seem pretty sure that there is something big going on at ESPN. One source said, “This time it won’t matter if you’re ‘liked’ or not. It’s not going to be pretty.”
The implication is people who might be considered “favorites” are going to get shoved out the door. This is usually what happens when companies start hemorrhaging money. Companies start to tighten their belts and eliminate non-essential costs. It’s a short-term fix to financial woes that could snowball and become devastating if not tended to.
“I see [ESPN] going down a path where they have less staff–and hire more production companies to provide programs and fill air time,” another source added. They are essentially saying that ESPN will soon put find itself in such a predicament that they will have to outsource program time to fill slots.
If this occurs, viewers could see a shift in the political hammering the network has been dealing out. ESPN needs a change of pace from the hard political viewpoints they have been espousing so passionately, because it has cost them dearly.
Is ESPN getting what they deserve?
Most experts would say that their political talk is the cause of this possible second layoff. It does seem odd that they would promote the kneeling during the national anthem, and then, not even halfway through football season, there are rumors of a full-on lay-off.
Now, ESPN head directors have to think about what comes next. They have to consider what course of action is in the best interest of their network, their viewers, and the country. If they don’t change direction soon, they coudl find themselves face with irreparable damage.