ESPN layoffs include program director at KSPN-AM (710)

MTHEADSHOTMike Thompson, the program director at ESPN Radio’s L.A. affiliate KSPN-AM (710) based in LA Live, said today that he has been told his position has been eliminated as ESPN is rumored to be laying off as many as 300 employees in its latest reorganization.
“It’s been a wonderful 12 years with the Walt Disney Company,” said Thompson in an email. “I am honored to have worked alongside talented broadcasters to build a record ratings winner among contemporary males never seen before in the format and AM Radio in the No. 2 market.”
According to today’s Hartford Courtant, ESPN isn’t giving a breakdown of layoffs by job title or function, but on-air personalities are not expected to be affected.
Most of the network’s 1,000-plus so-called “public-facing” employees, which includes game broadcasters, reporters and “SportsCenter” anchors, are under individual contracts and not subject to corporate layoffs.
ESPN president John Skipper issued a memo to employees this morning to lay out the guidelines of why the job cuts are taking place, which included:
“We carefully considered and deliberated alternatives before making each decision. The people who will be leaving us have been part of ESPN’s success, and they have our respect and appreciation for their contributions. We will be as supportive as we can during this transition, including providing a minimum of 60-days notice, a severance package reflective of their years of service, and outplacement benefits to help them find future employment.
“I realize this process will be difficult – for everyone – but we believe the steps we are taking will ultimately create important competitive advantages for our business over the long term.  I sincerely appreciate your professionalism and continued support as we move forward to ensure the continued success of ESPN and assure sports fans everywhere the best is yet to come.”
The BigLead.com reported in September that ESPN was ordered to trim $100 million from its 2016 budget and $250 million from its 2017 budget.

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