ESPN Layoffs

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ESPN Layoffs Cause Stir of Emotions

By Lorenzino Estrada

 

On Wednesday, April 26, ESPN announced they would be firing around 100 reporters and on-air personalities. For anyone interested in entering the journalism field, including myself, the news was shocking.

 

In their layoffs, ESPN cut ties with big names like Ed Werner, Trent Dilfer and Jay Crawford. While many other TV personalities were affected by the firings, employees who are not in the spotlight, including beat writers and reporters, were also let go.

 

Growing up a devoted sports fan, I have memories of watching ESPN with my dad, waiting to see the latest highlights. I would anxiously wait to watch Chris Berman’s two-minute drill or hear Stuart Scott say signature lines like, “booyah” or “cool as the other side of the pillow.”

 

But now, in this social media driven way of entertainment, we can easily access highlights by checking Twitter or going to Bleacher Report whenever we get a notification about the craziest or funniest plays. So what does this mean? The once prominent way of turning on the TV to watch highlights, isn’t happening anymore.

 

With their ratings dropping, the “mother ship” of sports media will now adapt to the digital side of entertainment, which spurred on the firings of many beloved ESPN anchors and reporters.

 

As a young, aspiring journalist, the ESPN firings certainly bring forth the harsh reality of the journalism business. Tenure, prominence and credibility don’t matter anymore; views and clicks matter. ESPN would now rather hire an unproven journalist out of college, paying them the minimum to move their life to Bristol, Connecticut, than continue paying the seasoned journalists with familiar faces.

 

And although we can criticize ESPN for their actions (I say, guilty), what fresh-off-campus graduate wouldn’t say yes when the behemoth of sports calls, asking when you can start? For many, including myself, ESPN has been the end goal, and right now, they want a younger staff, bringing a sigh of relief to many young journalists entering and leaving universities across the country, even as we question what the future will hold when we’re the experienced reporters.