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  1. #1

    Default ESPN Confirms Widespread Talent Layoffs

    From All Access:

    The talk about ESPN making significant layoffs of its on-air talent has been confirmed by a message sent by the network's President JOHN SKIPPER to employees.
    In the memo, SKIPPER, citing a "strategic vision that will propel our vast array of networks and services forward," said that ESPN's content strategy "still needs to go further, faster * and as always, must be efficient and nimble," which, he said, led to the network evaluating which talent is "necessary to meet those demands."
    He said that the firings will come this week, and, while not naming any names, he added that "these decisions impact talented people who have done great work for our company. I would like to thank all of them for their efforts and their many contributions to ESPN."
    The network followed up SKIPPER's internal announcement with a recap of how its content is "evolving," including the revamp of "SPORTSCENTER" as a series of more personality-driven, social media-rich shows as with the late edition hosted by SCOTT VAN PELT and the 6p (ET) "SC6 WITH MICHAEL SMITH AND JEMELE HILL," the multi-screen efforts being used for big events, and the pending relaunch of "OUTSIDE THE LINES" and "E:60" with a more multi-platform approach. But the network refrained from naming the talent affected.
    Reports are now indicating that the layoffs, initially believed to total about 50 individuals, will now number closer to 100. Some of the departing talent so far includes ESPN RADIO "RUSSILLO AND KANELL" co-host DANNY KANELL, longtime baseball reporter JAYSON STARK, ESPNw columnist and ESPN RADIO "THE TRIFECTA" co-host JANE MCMANUS, NFL analyst TRENT DILFER, ESPN RADIO "FIRST AND LAST" co-host ROBIN LUNDBERG, SPORTSCENTER anchors JAY CRAWFORD, JAYMEE SIRE, DARREN HAYNES, JADE MCCARTHY, and CHRIS HASSEL, NFL commentators ED WERDER, ASHLEY FOX, and JARRETT BELL, baseball analysts and former major league players DOUG GLANVILLE, RAUL IBAÑEZ, and DALLAS BRADEN, columnist JIM CAPLE, ESPNU producer JOSH PARCELL, ESPNFC columnist DAVID HIRSHEY, baseball analyst and former major league GM JIM BOWDEN, college basketball analyst LEN ELMORE, college football analyst CHARLES ARBUCKLE, baseball writer MARK SAXON, NBA reporter ETHAN STRAUSS, golf analyst DOTTIE PEPPER, and hockey writers SCOTT BURNSIDE, JOE MCDONALD, and PIERRE LEBRUN.
    Also departing are reporters JOHNETTE HOWARD, TOM FARREY, and CHANTEL JENNINGS, college basketball reporters DANA O'NEIL, C.L. BROWN, and EAMONN BRENNAN, BIG TEN reporters JESSE TEMPLE, BRIAN BENNETT, and AUSTIN WARD, SEC reporters GREG OSTENDORF and DAVID CHING, BIG 12 reporter MAX OLSON, PAC 12 reporter TED MILLER, betting analytics expert RUFUS PEABODY, racing and football commentator DR. JERRY PUNCH, legal analyst ROGER COSSACK, and soccer writer MIKE GOODMAN.
    And SPORTSCENTER correspondent and "OFF SCENTER" podcast host REESE WATERS, boxing host MARYSOL CASTRO, TENNESSEE TITANS beat reporter PAUL KUHARSKY, LOS ANGELES DODGERS beat reporter DOUG PADILLA, HOUSTON ROCKETS reporter CALVIN WATKINS, NEW ORLEANS PELICANS reporter JUSTIN VERRIER, ESPNU anchor BRENDAN FITZGERALD, sports betting writer DAVE TULEY, college football writers BRETT MCMURPHY, DEREK TYSON, and JEREMY CRABTREE, ESPNw/ESPN CHICAGO columnist MELISSA ISAACSON, KSPN-A (ESPN L.A. 710AM)/LOS ANGELES evening "REWIND" host JEFF BIGGS, and ESPN DALLAS columnist JEAN-JACQUES TAYLOR are exiting.

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