Most of the bleeding has come from small businesses, with many having to close their doors for good. The communities around these businesses have tried to rally around them to keep them up, but it’s not enough to save them all. When it comes to corporations, many have suspected they would lay off people regardless of financial standing to shift focus without backlash. Disney has already announced it would be refocusing on its Disney+ streaming service and according to Variety, the house of mouse will do the same at ESPN with massive layoffs.
ESPN’s chief said the Disney sports-media division would eliminate 500 positions – 300 employees and 200 posts that are currently unfilled – in a bid to free up resources for streaming, digital and other kinds of video experiences designed for the new ways fans are engaging with sports.
ESPN has already made cuts in recent years as traditional ratings and subscriber numbers have fallen, noted ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro in a memo to employees issued Thursday. “We have, however, reached an inflection point,” he said. “The speed at which change is occurring requires great urgency, and we must now deliver on serving sports fans in a myriad of new ways. Placing resources in support of our direct-to-consumer business strategy, digital, and, of course, continued innovative television experiences, is more critical than ever.”
ESPN is focusing all attention to video content, which most platforms started years ago. Hopefully, the move isn’t too late and will not cause more casualties.