*Edit- I got a little carried away while writing this and forgot that Fox owns the NFL on Sundays
Once upon a time, the “World Wide Leader in Sports” was just that, but recently, not so much. Due to sliding ratings, ESPN has laid off over 100 of their employees since late April, most recently was John Clayton (NFL insider and senior writer) who was laid off today.
ESPN has lost over 10 million viewers in the past several of years which is calling for these drastic changes. Among the most notable layoffs were Trent Dilfer, Ed Werder, and Jayson Stark. They also laid off their NHL writers in the midst of the STANLEY CUP PLAYOFFS. The network notified Ed Werder he was being laid off and then asked him if he could still cover the NFL draft for them.
ESPN has lately been notorious for not retaining talent while they have no problem employing people who flat out SUCK. Have you ever tried to sit down and watch day time ESPN television? Don’t. As weird as it is to say, First take has gotten WORSE without Skip Bayless. Steven A is unbearable. Their show “Highly Questionable” may very well be the worse thing on that network and I do not understand how anyone on that show survived layoffs. I personally like Around the Horn and Pardon the Interruption, I will not go out of my way to watch either show but compared to the other crap they have it could be worse. ESPN’s bread and butter is their 30 for 30’s, they are absolutely fucking awesome.
If ESPN really wanted to save money then they should lay off the expensive talent that call the football games every Sunday. People tune in for the football being played, I have never met someone that tuned in to a football game because of whoever was calling the game. The network could easily get rid of Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Jon Gruden, and Chris Collinsworth and not miss a beat. Though I honestly do not mind Aikman, I just hate that he is able to call Cowboys games but he is not bad.
If ESPN spent less time writing about what outlandish thing Lavar Ball said recently and stopped spending so much time talking about what Tom Brady ate for breakfast maybe then they would realize why viewership is going down. I am tired of waking up every day and reading the same shit. Every morning i see a new story posted by ESPN about the Cowboys or Tom Brady, and now Lavar Ball as well. Their journalism is a joke, there is no diversity in their reporting. Now with less employees, they are forcing their biggest names to double up on their already extensive workload. Have you been noticing lately how Adam Schefter has now been covering basketball? I still can not get used to that.
With more prominent ESPN talent leaving for FOX, The “World Wide Leader in Sports” may now be the “World Wide Leader in Lost Viewership.”