Here’s How Many Twitter Followers ESPN Lost Due To Today’s Layoffs (Hint: It’s A LOT)

ESPN layoffs twitter


All day long we’ve seen the biggest names at ESPN announce that they’ve been laid off. Both on-air talent and lifelong journalists, they’ve been cut as part of ESPN’s move to lay off 100 staff members. I wrote earlier about how Twitter simply cannot come to grips with why ESPN has chosen to lay off Ed Werder but not Jemele Hill. People have also speculated at the future of ESPN being 8 continuous hours of Stephen A. Smith yelling at the screen.

In the midst of thinking about all of these firings, I began to consider the idea of this incredible pool of talented sports journalists banding together to start their own website/podcast/YouTube channel. It’s 2017, all you need in order to start a successful website is traffic. First, I began thinking about how many millions of Facebook fans ESPN might have lost today by firing people like Trent Dilfer, Ed Werder, Jim Bowden, Danny Kanell, and Pierre Lebrun. I was shocked to discover that none of these people have large Facebook followings. I’m guessing ESPN has an internal policy against self-promotion on Facebook in favor of promoting all of their massive pages (Sportscenter, etc).

After that, I turned to Twitter to see what the cumulative number of followers is of all the former ESPN employees who were laid off today, and holy crap. ESPN might’ve taken a lot of $$$$ off the books today and restructured their organization, but they just lost millions of Twitter followers.

Here’s what the list looks like, in descending order of ‘# of Twitter followers’, for the staffers that we know have been laid off so far. In some cases these have been rounded down, so the numbers could be several thousand higher:

Pierre Lebrun 652,000
Jayson Stark 529,000
Trent Dilfer 358,000
Danny Kanell 350,000
Ed Werder 206,000
Jim Bowden 144,000
Jay Crawford 123,000
Brett McMurphy 121,000
Scott Burnside 120,000
Paul Kuharsky 89,500
Ethan Strauss 82,500
Dana O’Neil 52,900
Calvin Watkins 48,700
Jeremy Crabtree 35,700
Eamonn Brennan 35,000
Jane McManus 34,900
Robin Lundberg 29,600
Jean-Jacques Taylor 26,100
Joe McDonald 25,600
Mark Saxon 24,600
Derek Tyson 21,500
Max Olson 21,000
Ashley Fox 15,900
Mike Goodman 13,600
Ted Miller 12,400
CL Brown 12,100
Justin Verrier 11,200
Austin Ward 11,000
Brian Bennett 9,617
David Ching 7,700
Jesse Temple 5,600
Doug Padilla 4,800
Johnette Howard 3,000
Josh Parcell 3,000
Brendan Fitzgerald 2,359
Melissa Isaacson 1,780
Len Elmore 1,600
Dan Sharfin 1,000

What’s that come out to? Give or take a few thousand, today ESPN lost 3,244,897 Twitter followers based on the follower counts of the people they fired. That is a literal shit ton of Twitter followers out there waiting to be scooped up by media organizations….Or these talented journalists can band together and start something new. At this point, I think we can safely call today ESPN’s version of the ‘Red Wedding’.

To contextualize those numbers a little, the @ESPN Twitter handle currently has 31.2 million followers, @SportsCenter has 31.9 million followers, and @FirstTake has 1.15 million followers. Meanwhile, I’m over here with a measly 8.8k Twitter followers on my personal handle @casspa, and 29.2K on @guyism…womp womp….

For the list of ESPN personalities who have been fired today I used this article from Awful Announcing. It’s quite possible I left out some huge names and the number is even higher.