Report: ESPN Is Firing 20 On-Air Personalities Including Well-Known Stars


Mike Windle/Getty Image


The Network has reportedly already let go of Suzy Kolber, Mark Jackson, Steve Young, Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson, Jeff Van Gundy, Jalen Rose, Todd McShay, Matt Hasselbeck, David Pollack, Andre Ward, Doug Kezirian, Ashley Brewer, Joon Lee, LaPhonso Ellis, Nick Friedell, Jordan Cornette, Gene Wojciechowski and Jason Fitz.

In addition ESPN does not plan to renew Bomani Jones’ contract, according to Front Office Sports. His deal is set to run through the end of this month.

Jones recently had his HBO show ‘Game Theory‘ cancelled as well.

Original Story:

Sports media giant ESPN is is undergoing a significant round of layoffs, cutting approximately 20 on-air stars as part of cost-cutting measures.

The network hopes to save tens of millions of dollars through these measures, according to reports from the New York Post’s Andrew Marchand.

Sources familiar with the situation have revealed to The Post that several more high-profile personalities from the NFL, NBA, and ESPN Radio have been informed that their services will no longer be required across the network’s various platforms.

ESPN employees were reportedly notified of the impending cuts via an internal website memo earlier today, although the document did not provide many specific details regarding the layoffs.

At the onset of Disney’s recent wave of layoffs, it was rumored that no individuals would be exempt from potential cuts at ESPN.

This sentiment appears to be playing out with the upcoming layoffs, as even long-standing on-air talents with decades of experience are believed to be affected, although popular figures like Stephen A. Smith, Scott Van Pelt, Joe Buck, and others are reportedly safe.

The term “talent” is often used in the broadcasting industry to refer to front-facing TV commentators, and it is these individuals who are expected to bear the brunt of the layoffs.

Last week, The Post revealed that ESPN was canceling its morning radio show, which prominently featured Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson, and Jay Williams. Kellerman, who earns around $5 million annually, and Johnson, who is only one year into a five-year deal worth approximately $18 million, are considered to be particularly at risk.

Williams, whose contract expires at the end of the summer, is also uncertain about his future with the network.

NFL Analyst Rob Ninkovich is also reportedly been let go.

Other notable personalities who may face the axe include “Monday Night Football” pregame analyst Steve Young and host Suzy Kolber. However, ESPN has chosen to remain tight-lipped about the situation and declined to comment on the reports when approached by the New York Post.

Despite the impending cuts, ESPN is not entirely abandoning its spending endeavors. The network recently demonstrated its willingness to invest in talent by signing Pat McAfee to a lucrative five-year deal worth around $85 million.

McAfee’s show is scheduled to debut on ESPN in the fall, indicating that the network will continue to make strategic investments where it sees potential for growth and success.

As the sports media landscape continues to evolve, ESPN’s decision to reduce its on-air talent pool reflects the financial pressures and shifting priorities within the industry.

The impact of these layoffs on the network’s programming and the future direction of ESPN remains to be seen, but the sports media community will undoubtedly be closely watching the developments and speculating on the potential ramifications of this major restructuring.