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ESPN announces layoffs as part of Disney's moves to cut costs

The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 8, 2017, in New York.
Richard Drew
/
AP
The Walt Disney Co. logo appears on a screen above the floor of the New York Stock Exchange on Aug. 8, 2017, in New York.

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.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

The Associated Press