April 25, 2017 Last Updated 10:09 am

ESPN layoffs expected to be deep as word begins to leak out

Cuts are not rumored to be more than the 40 or 50 first forecast as the Disney owned sports network looks to cut deeply into its on-air payroll due to subscription losses

This story is not exactly about digital publishing, but it is media, nonetheless – and you’ll likely hear more about it in the days ahead, especially if you are a sports fan. ESPN is cutting deep. Sporting News is calling it a ‘bloodbath’.

The rumors have been out there for a while, with talk of 40 or 50 jobs being lost. But the latest word is that it will be worse than that.

Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated wrote on Facebook to expect the worst.

“It’s a major business story inside and outside the sports media, and there will be significant on-air names affected at ESPN,” Deitsch said. “I’ve heard from people I trust that employees in Bristol will be informed as early as tomorrow. The numbers will be larger than previously reported. It is not a fun story to report.”

Paul Kuharsky, writes about the Tennessee Titans for ESPN.com, let his Twitter followers know he will be leaving as of July.

The sports network, like print media, has not been immune to staff cuts. Back about a year and a half ago ESPN cut a large number of employees, but those cuts did not effect on-air staff. But, as you can imagine, there is only so many lesser paid employees one can cut to make a big difference. On-air personalities are, to say the least, far higher paid.

Earlier this month it was learned that the long running Mike & Mike show would be ending. But Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic might not be going anywhere as Greenberg recently signed a new contract pays him $6.5 million a year, and word was that Golic would get a new partner – though that might change now.

So why is ESPN, one of the most popular TV outlets there is, cutting so deeply? Chalk it up to the evolution of television. At one time ESPN was part of basic cable, and still is. But cord cutters, Apple, Google and Amazon, not to mention Roku, streaming… add it all up and you can see how ESPN has lost some 12 million subscribers.

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