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Sources: ESPN Laying Off Hundreds (Deadspin)
ESPN laid off a portion of its staff Tuesday, a network spokesman confirmed to us. How many? ESPN won’t say. A tipster told us earlier that it would be more than 400 staffers. A source at ESPN said that number is a little high, but it appears to be in the hundreds. FishbowlNY An ESPN spokesperson emailed to tell us that they hadn’t cut 400 staffers. When we asked how many were let go, “We’re not getting into particulars but it is fewer than 400″ was all we got back. USA Today / Big Lead Sports According to an ESPN source, the layoffs will come mostly, but “not exclusively,” from tech and sales departments (think regional offices: Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle). ESPN is reviewing its entire studio production department over the next three-to-four weeks, which is about 2,800 employees. It is possible some shows will be cut. These layoffs are part of a Disney-wide process. THR News of layoffs comes less than two weeks after Disney’s media networks segment rose 6 percent to $4.96 billion, with operating income up 8 percent to $1.86 billion. One of the company’s most consistently lucrative properties, ESPN has enjoyed increased affiliate revenue in 2013. Read more
Posts Tagged ‘espn’
ESPN is making some serious cuts. A source told Deadspin that about 400 staffers are being let go. Some of those being laid off have been told they can stay until the end of the week if they want.
One anonymous ESPN staffer who got the axe had been with the company for almost a decade. That person considered the move “Completely out of the blue.” The staffer added, “I was told it was 10 percent across the board, which would be roughly 400. I was told the reason was they needed to make their profit margin and they chose to do that via layoff of staff.”
We’ve reached out to ESPN for comment, and we’ll update when we hear back.
Update (12:53 pm):
ESPN sent the following statement: ”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.”
Update (3:00 pm):
An ESPN spokesperson emailed to tell us that they hadn’t cut 400 staffers. When we asked how many were let go, “We’re not getting into particulars but it is fewer than 400″ was all we got back. So there’s that.
How much do ombudsman matter? Well, that’s debatable. We do know that ESPN — a company that needs plenty of monitoring — just hired a good one, in Robert Lipsyte. Lipsyte has written many books, was a veteran of the New York Times, and won an Emmy for his work at PBS. He is, to put it bluntly, an icon in the sports journalism world.
“I’m thrilled at the chance to help the ESPN audience — which means just about all sports fans — to understand how the decisions are made, or not made, that affect the presentation of its sports news and entertainment,” Lipsyte said, in a statement. “Sports is an immensely important aspect of American social, moral and economic life and ESPN is the most important window on sports. My job is to keep that window transparent.”
Lipsyte begins in June. We can’t wait.
In case you haven’t heard: Deadspin unleashed the scoop of 2013 (so far) last night by revealing an elaborate hoax involving Manti Te’o, star Notre Dame linebacker. Deadspin’s well-reported account showed that Te’o's “girlfriend” that died of cancer never existed, and either Te’o, his family, and his friend were all involved in scamming the media, or Te’o was the victim of an insanely complex and malicious practical joke by someone he didn’t know.
The facts are still being uncovered, but this much is clear: Deadspin has a huge hit on its hands. As of now, Deadspin’s post has been viewed over 2.7 million times, and in being the first to break the story, Deadspin out-reported a slew of media heavyweights that didn’t bother investigating Te’o's claims.
Here are just a few of the major media entities that Deadspin beat:
Think of the New York Yankees of the 1940s and 1950, or to a lesser degree the Joe Torre era of the late 1990s. All the teams did was win. Well, Bruce Beck has become a local TV news dynasty.
For the sixth consecutive year, the WNBC sports anchor has been selected as the New York State Sportscaster of the Year. Beck shares the honor with SNY/Mets announcer Gary Cohen.
There’s no truth to the story that the annual award recipient chosen by the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association has been renamed the “Beck Award.”
In all seriousness, he says being recognized for the award a half-dozen times in a row is the mark of consistency.
“We strive for that in our field — just like the athletes we cover,” Beck tells FishbowlNY.
Knicks fans had multiple choices for viewing the Nets/Knicks game at Madison Square Garden. Not only was the borough-to-borough matchup broadcast by MSG and the Nets’ home, YES, there was a national cable audience on ESPN.
But it was MSG that won the night in two of the key rating measures.
MSG had the highest numbers among Nielsen household indicators with a 3.35, compared to a 2.54 for ESPN and a minuscule 0.32 at the YES Network.
MSG was also tops in the adults 25 to 54 category for Wednesday’s tilt.
The good fortune for the Knicks and MSG extends beyond facing their Brooklyn neighbor. Through 19 Nielsen measured games this season, Knicks telecasts are up a whopping 86 percent in the household rating.
The Jets and Giants exhibition tilt was still must see TV. The Saturday night matchup on WCBS/Channel 2 grabbed the top spot for the week, according to Nielsen. An estimated 853,000 fans tuned to WCBS with a 4.4 rating.
Back to baseball, as the Yankees made five Top 30 appearances. The highest ranking was the ESPN Sunday nighter against the Red Sox (559,000/2.9) at number four.
It was a big week for 60 Minutes. The stalwart CBS newsmagazine had a second-place finish (609,000/3.1).
The Olympics exited the stage, but that means America’s Got Talent is back on NBC’s prime time schedule. The first season with Howard Stern as a judge landed in third and fifth for the week. It averaged 563,000 WNBC/Channel 4 viewers with a 2.9 rating.
More from the Top 10 after the jump
No opening night jitters for Olympics coverage on NBC. The New York prime time ratings gave the Top 3 slots to the London Games. The Opening Ceremonies led the way with an estimated 2.6 million WNBC viewers and a 13.5 rating, winning “gold.”
The Nielsen weekly survey ends Sunday, but not before the Olympics registered for weekend programming.
Sunday night took second place with 2.2 million viewers and an 11.4 rating, while night two “settled” for a third-place finish with 1.8 million fans and a 9.3 rating.
NBC did well also with non-Olympic events. The weekly installments of America’s Got Talent (now on hiatus due to the Olympics) landed at number four (640,000/3.3) and five (559,000/2.9).
Also cracking the Top 10, USA Network’s Monday Night Raw. The one-part entertainment, one-part sporting event, marked its 1,000th episode of MNR. The three-hour, live broadcast was broken into three segments—averaging 534,000 viewers and a 2.7.
More after the jump
The summer is quiet time for TV viewing habits. But last week’s Baseball All-Star Game had big numbers to finish at number one. The game, on WNYW/Channel 5, had an estimated 900,000 viewers and a 4.6 rating, according to Nielsen. The pre-game show had a ninth-place finish (473,000/2.4).
ESPN also used the All-Star Break to its advantage. The Home-Run Derby was third (681,000/3.5). The pre-game show also did well in a tie for sixth (509,000/2.6).
NBC also had a good week from America’s Got Talent, landing at number two (694,000/3.6).
CBS’ tried and true 60 Minutes had 567,000 WCBS viewers with a 2.9 rating, good enough for fourth place, while HBO’s True Blood was fifth (526,000/2.7).
More after the jump
A Fourth of July tradition was the most popular for the week in New York.
The annual Macy’s fireworks spectacular, airing on NBC, grabbed the top two positions for the week. The two-hour special, hosted by Regis Philbin, had an estimated 1.6 million viewers and an 8.4 rating for the first hour. The second half held onto 1 million WNBC viewers with a 5.0 rating.
The Yankees and Red Sox had the Sunday night matchup on ESPN, and landed in third place (682,000/3.5). The latest series between AL East rivals also got the prime time treatment from Fox on Saturday. The game tied for ninth (538,000/2.8). The Friday night edition scored an 11th-place result on the YES Network (512,000/2.6).
Last week’s episodes of NBC’s America’s Got Talent were Top 5 finishers, averaging 591,000 Channel 4 viewers and a 3.0 rating.
More from the Top 10 after the jump