ESPN issued a round of layoffs Tuesday that affects an undisclosed number of employees estimated to be in the hundreds, according to several news sources including the Huffington Post and the Associated Press, which published an official statement from the Disney-owned company:
“We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs,” the sports media giant said in a statement Tuesday. “While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive.”
The company would not say how many jobs are being eliminated, but they include unfilled positions. ESPN has about 7,000 employees worldwide, with about 4,000 at its headquarters in Bristol, Conn. The vast majority work behind the scenes.
In April, Disney laid off about 150 people at LucasArts, the video-game making division of Lucasfilm, four months after acquiring the company behind “Star Wars” for $4.06 billion. Disney also laid off about the same number at the movie studio in April to cope with the decline in DVD sales as consumer habits shift to digital forms of home entertainment.
Another report on Deadspin.com says the number of ESPN staff members who were cut in Tuesday’s layoffs could total close to 400, although that number has not been confirmed by ESPN, who could not be reached for comment. It’s not yet clear which divisions of the media company were directly affected by the cuts, including the X Games staff.