ESPN President John Skipper announced Wednesday that the network is laying off approximately 150 people, marking the third substantial round of layoffs since October 2015.
In a memo to employees, Skipper wrote, “The majority of the jobs eliminated are in studio production, digital content and technology, and they generally reflect decisions to do less in certain instances and redirect resources.”
“We will continue to invest in ways which will best position us to serve the modern sports fan and support the success of our business,” Skipper continued.
ESPN has seen a drop in subscribers in the last several years. Recent estimates peg the current number at about 87 million cable subscribers, down from more than 100 million in 2011. The rising cost of sports rights have also proved a challenge.
The network cut about 100 jobs in April, including on-air talent, and in the fall of 2015, it laid off approximately 300 employees — about 4 to 5 percent of its workforce, Sports Illustrated's Richard Deitsch noted.
A mandatory meeting at ESPN's headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut, next month will reportedly include training on the company's social media policy and guidelines. This comes after “SportsCenter” anchor Jemele Hill's tweets about President Donald Trump in September drew controversy and ultimately condemnation from the network.