ESPN Firing Over A Hundred Employees Today
By Clay Travis
Apr 26, 2017 at 9:44a ET
For several years I have been writing on this site about the coming business implosion at ESPN. Today, with the announcement that over 100 on air talent at ESPN were being let go, many will finally come to realize what Outkick readers have read here for the past several years – ESPN’s business model is fundamentally broken and there is no saving it. The continuing collapse of ESPN is the biggest story in sports – the sub-prime mortgage crisis with bouncing balls.
I don’t say that to gloat over ESPN employees who lost their jobs today – many of them are outstanding people who regularly read this site or listen to our Outkick broadcasts, some of them are also good friends – and I know exactly how they feel today because I have been fired before in sports media too. Six years ago I, along with the entire staff, was fired from FanHouse. …
The people being fired at ESPN today aren’t being fired because they are bad at their jobs, they’re being fired because ESPN’s business is collapsing. That collapse has been aided by ESPN’s absurd decision to turn into MSESPN, a left wing sports network, but that’s more a symptom of the collapse than it is a cause of the collapse. ESPN’s business is collapsing and the network is desperately trying to find a way to stay above water. … ESPN going left wing was like giving a drowning person a big rock to hold and thinking it would keep them from drowning. Instead, it just made them sink even faster.
As tantalizing as it is to blame ESPN’s fall on ESPN going political, the start of their fall does seem to have predated their going political. The linked article details how subscription losses have made overpaid longterm contracts a fixed cost burden that threatens ESPN’s survival. In that context, going political looks like a straw-grasping effort that has backfired, accellerating ESPN’s fall.
ESPN’s going political took the form of a hard left turn, but I’m not sure a hard right turn would have fared much better. Seriously! Who tunes in a sports show hoping to hear political commentary, even commentary with which one agrees? Not that a hard right turn would have been thinkable in the entertainment industry.