What will it take for them to learn sports and politics don’t mix
ESPN’s troubles are far from over. The left-leaning sports network is reportedly planning yet another round of layoffs and will cut $80 million in salaries from the budget. This makes the third round of substantial layoffs in the last two years.
Sporting News reports:
Sporting News broke the news that ESPN planned to lay off up to 60 people in late November and early December. Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated followed up with a report that said 100 positions could be impacted. ESPN declined to comment Monday.
Previously, ESPN laid off 100 mostly on-air anchors/reporters/hosts this April, including well-known names such as John Clayton, Trent Dilfer and Brit McHenry. In October 2015, the company laid off 300 staffers, including well-respected executives such as Gus Ramsey and Gerry Matalon.
Look, ESPN is not going anywhere. It’s still by far the largest, most successful sports cable network, dwarfing upstart competitors such as Fox Sports’ FS1. Its world-class journalists such as Don Van Natta Jr. and Seth Wickersham continue to drive the news cycle with their reporting on the NFL civil war between commissioner Roger Goodell and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
Looking to connect with younger consumers, ESPN just launched “SportsCenter” on Snapchat, with Katie Nolan, Elle Duncan and Cassidy Hubbarth. It also re-signed successful “SportsCenter” host Scott Van Pelt, whose late night show is viewed as a template for more personality focused “SportsCenters.” ESPN is far from alone in laying off staffers in the struggling media business.
But numbers don’t lie.
Consumers cutting the cable account for some of the steady income declines, but that’s not the only issue plaguing ESPN. The network’s insistence on pushing progressive politics is causing viewers to tune out in droves.
One of ESPN’s lead anchors, Jemele Hill, called Trump a ‘white supremacist.” And let’s not forget the time they pulled announcer Robert Lee from a UVa game because his name is similar to Robert E. Lee.
No one wants politics with their sports, a basic consumer truth ESPN keeps ignoring at their own peril.DONATE
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