While many fans were pushing Sports Analyst Stephen A. Smith to ask for more money when he goes in to renegotiate his $12 million contract with ESPN in 2025, it might not be the right time. The sports media company is looking to shave its budget drastically and will be letting some talent go.
According to the New York Post, the network plans to cut some of its on-air talent to save money. Sources say as many as 20 people you have seen on your screen will be axed. Amongst the names being let go are Jeff Van Gundy and Jalen Rose. An insider said there would be “no sacred cows” when the pink slips start.
In a statement, ESPN says the company is making the drastic change as a part of its “ongoing focus on managing costs when we negotiate individual contract renewals in the months ahead.”
“Given the current environment, ESPN has determined it necessary to identify some additional cost savings in the area of public-facing commentator salaries, and that process has begun,” the statement says. “This is an extremely challenging process, involving individuals who have had tremendous impact on our company. These difficult decisions, based more on overall efficiency than merit, will help us meet our financial targets and ensure future growth.”
ESPN is a part of The Walt Disney Company made headlines earlier in the year with its massive job cuts.
Over the spring, 7,000 people have lost their jobs.