In a major shakeup at ESPN, the sports media giant has decided to scrap its national morning radio show featuring Keyshawn Johnson, Jay Williams, and Max Kellerman, signaling a restructuring within the company.
This move comes as ESPN prepares for significant on-air layoffs that are expected to take place as early as next week, according to Andrew Marchand of the New York Post
While this decision does not necessarily mean that Johnson, Williams, or Kellerman will be let go entirely, it does raise concerns about their futures at the network.
Of the three hosts, Kellerman is particularly vulnerable as a high-paid personality who will now find himself without a radio platform. Additionally, his TV program, “This Just In,” will face competition as “The Pat McAfee Show” moves into the same time slot this fall.
On the other hand, the future of Johnson and Williams remains uncertain. ESPN signed Johnson to a lucrative four-year contract valued at approximately $18 million just last year, according to Marchand.
With the impending layoffs, it is expected that ESPN will opt to buy out some contracts, potentially affecting Johnson’s standing with the network. In Williams’s case, his contract is set to expire at the end of this summer, further adding to the speculation surrounding his future at ESPN.
When approached for comment, ESPN declined to provide any official statement to the New York Post.
It is worth noting that in the event of Johnson’s departure from ESPN, there is a possibility that he could join Fox Sports, as the network currently has an opening on its popular debate show, “Undisputed,” alongside Skip Bayless. This vacancy arises following the departure of Shannon Sharpe, another former NFL star.
The anticipated on-air talent layoffs are expected to commence by the end of June. ESPN’s aim with these cuts is to preserve behind-the-scenes jobs while meeting the financial goals set by Disney, the parent company of ESPN.
By restructuring its lineup and potentially reducing the number of high-profile personalities, ESPN aims to navigate the evolving media landscape and maintain its financial stability.