Disney continues its road to profitability by cutting staff, this time at ESPN, where as many as 400 people lost their jobs in a cost-cutting measure to offset increased licensing fees for various sports. Although ESPN is sort of a fiefdom of Disney, it is still subject to the same kind of bottom line boosting via staff cuts that has been taking place elsewhere at Disney.
UPDATE, 11:54 a.m.: A laid-off ESPN employee writes us:
I was laid off from ESPN today after 9 and a half years. Completely out of the blue, no warning at all. I was told it was 10% 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.
UPDATE, 12:10 p.m.: More from the laid-off staffer:
btw…..we were told that the layoffs ARE tied to the profit margin that ESPN needs to meet and the fact they haven’t met that number. Your comments about them buying all of these live rights and now needed to reduce overhead costs is dead on.
A few people sent this link to us and wondered anxiously if Marvel might also go under the knife. My only semi educated guess is “No” because they have long been the poster child of manpower austerity.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.