ESPN to cut jobs as pandemic hits sports broadcaster

©Agence France-Presse

Disruption in the sports world from the global pandemic has prompted cable channel ESPN to announced some 300 layoffs

New York (AFP) - ESPN said Thursday it was cutting some 300 jobs in response to turmoil in the sports world as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The sports channel, a unit of Walt Disney Co., said it was also leaving 200 positions unfilled within its workforce of around 5,000.

The cuts, across all divisions, follow prior ESPN moves that included furloughs, pay cuts and other cost-saving moves.

“We are parting ways with many exceptional teammates, all of whom have made important contributions to ESPN. These are not easy decisions, and we will work hard to make their transitions easier," ESPN sports content chairman Jimmy Pitaro said in a memo to employees.

"Prior to the pandemic, we had been deeply engaged in strategizing how best to position ESPN for future success amidst tremendous disruption in how fans consume sports. The pandemic's significant impact on our business clearly accelerated those forward-looking discussions."

In September, Disney said it is cutting 28,000 jobs as a result of the pandemic's impact on travel, theme parks and its other operations.