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ESPN layoffs: Trying to 'manage costs,' cable sports giant cuts jobs

ESPN layoffs: An unspecified number of staffers at the Bristol, Connecticut-based cable sports network are expected to be let go. The ESPN layoffs are the latest in the Disney entertainment family.

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ESPN layoffs: Florida men's basketball coach Billy Donovan is introduced onto the stage during a news conference announcing the launching of the Southeastern Conference Network in partnership with ESPN, May 2, 2013, in Atlanta.

Jason Getz, Atlanta Journal-Constitution/AP

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ESPN is cutting its workforce, the latest Disney division to reduce staff.

"We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs," the sports media giant said in a statement Tuesday. "While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive."

The company would not say how many jobs are being eliminated, but they include unfilled positions. ESPN has about 7,000 employees worldwide, with about 4,000 at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn. The vast majority work behind the scenes.

In April, Disney laid off about 150 people at LucasArts, the video-game making division of Lucasfilm, four months after acquiring the company behind "Star Wars" for $4.06 billion. Disney also laid off about the same number at the movie studio in April to cope with the decline in DVD sales as consumer habits shift to digital forms of home entertainment.

Still, Disney has been on a roll financially, beating or matching earnings per share estimates for the last eight quarters. After it reported a 32 percent gain in net income for its fiscal second-quarter earnings two weeks ago, more than a dozen Wall Street analysts raised their price targets on Disney stock to an average of nearly $72.

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