FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 26, 2017 - The ax fell hard today at ESPN as the “Worldwide Leader in Sports” sent pink slips to approximately 100 of its on-air and online talent. It’s a staggering number of layoffs which includes the likes of 17-year veterans Ed Werder and Jayson Stark as well as former NFL quarterbacks Trent Dilfer and Danny Kanell.
ESPN President John Skipper sent a memo to all its employees informing them that the impending cuts would occur today.
“Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent—anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play—necessary to meet those demands,” Skipper wrote. “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.”
Many of the on-air talent who received their walking papers took to social media to express their feelings. Here are some of their tweets:
Jay Crawford - After 14 wonderful years, my time at espn is over. From Cold Pizza to First Take to SC I made more friends than I can name. Forever grateful!
Ashley Fox - I had a great 6+ years at ESPN, but it's over. I will badly miss all the talented folks there, many of whom I call dear friends.
Danny Kanell - Poured my heart and soul into ESPN for last 8 years. Moved my wife and 3 kids to CT to go "all in" 5 years ago. Bummed it ended in 3 minutes.
Jayson Stark - For 17 yrs I've had a dream job covering baseball for ESPN. Today is my last day. Thanks to all the great people at ESPN, MLB & all of you!
Ed Werder - After
17 years reporting on #NFL, I've been informed that I'm being laid off
by ESPN effective immediately. I have no plans to retire.
Going forward, the company said it will focus more on its on-line presence, live news and streaming audio and video, as well as its ESPN App in an attempt to keep pace with the way fans want to receive their sports news.
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