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Thursday, July 18, 2024

Woke ESPN’s Next Round of Disney-Mandated Layoffs to Include On-Air Talent

'As we advance as a core segment of Disney, with operational control and financial responsibility, we must further identify ways to be efficient and nimble...'

(Headline USA) ESPN began informing employees of layoffs Monday, which are job cuts that are taking place throughout its corporate owner, the Walt Disney Company.

Disney CEO Bob Iger announced in February that the company would reduce 7,000 jobs either through not filling positions or layoffs.

ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro said in a company memo sent to employees that those affected will hear from their supervisor and someone from human relations this week.

“As we advance as a core segment of Disney, with operational control and financial responsibility, we must further identify ways to be efficient and nimble,” Pitaro said in the memo. “We will continue to focus our workforce on initiatives that are most closely aligned with our critical priorities and emphasize decision-making and responsibility deeper into the organization.”

ESPN was not part of the first phase of Disney reductions last month. Besides this week’s layoffs, another round of job cuts will take place by the start of summer. Both phases impact off-air employees.

A round of cuts involving on-air talent will happen over the summer via contracts not being renewed, buyouts or cuts. It is not expected to resemble what happened in April of 2017, when reporters and hosts were informed at one time.

Among the known job cuts from Monday is vice president of communications Mike Soltys, who has been with the company 43 years. Soltys confirmed his departure via social media.

Disney first acquired ESPN in 1995 as part of a merger that also included the ABC network. At the time, both Disney and ESPN were beloved brands in their respective markets—Disney known for its wholesome, family-friendly entertainment, and ESPN as the leading sports-based broadcaster.

However, since then, both have increasingly lost their core identities and alienated consumers by wading into the political arena and engaging in culture war against traditional American values.

Disney’s decision to come out against Florida’s elected leaders and encourage protests over an anti-grooming bill last year drew tremendous backlash against the company and boycotts from many concerned parents, particularly as it became clear that the company had plotted to incorporate inappropriate, sexualized content into its children’s programming to help indoctrinate them on behalf of the LGBT agenda.

The company also stands to lose significantly from its ongoing battle with Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and the state’s Republican-led legislature.

After Disney lost its longstanding privileges to maintain an autonomous, self-governed zone, the Reedy Creek District, overseeing its sprawling Disney World theme park, the company attempted a legal runaround by divesting the newly appointed DeSantis board of its governing authority. The legislature quickly moved afterward to revoke all of Disney’s special privileges, and DeSantis suggested he might put a prison on the property.

Adapted from reporting by the Associated Press

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