So much for applying to ESPN for a job. According to TVNewser on Adweek.com, “ESPN is Laying Off 100 Staffers, Primarily On-Air Talent.”
Then again, I wasn’t looking for an on-air deal. Nevertheless, I can’t say I’m really surprised. Compare ESPN — which falls under the ABC umbrella, hence the reference to half of the slogan of the old weekly favorite Wide World of Sports — with the single-sport MLB Network. Aide from airing games, the latter saves a lot of money by using the same material over and over, whether it’s replaying their wrap-up shows or documentaries of feature films. I’ve been trying for years to get them interested in a half-hour weekly program about baseball and pop culture. Can’t imagine it would cost that much, but they seem content to just keep doing the same-old same-old.
According to the article, “These layoffs come as parent company Disney is getting ready to unveil an ESPN subscription streaming service. ” I don’t get that. If they’re losing an audience, do they really think they can save their bacon by charging for what people aren’t using for free? What’s the subscription fee gonna be, $1 million?
I’m not their demographic. The only show I watch regularly is Pardon the Interruption, with co-hosts 68-year-old Tony Kornheiser and 58-year-old Michael Wilbon, a couple of grumpy old men. I’ve been a fan of Kornheiser since his days as a columnist at the Washington Post, going back some 30-plus years; when he’s not on, I kind of lose interest. I hope they don’t get cut in the layoffs.