ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro

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Disney’Friday ESPN About 20 of its on-air personalities are being notified that they will no longer appear on any of the network’s platforms.

Those cut include former National Basketball Association head coach and current game analyst Jeff Van Gundy and former NBA player and studio analyst Jalen Rose, according to people familiar with the matter.

“Given the current environment, ESPN has determined that some additional cost savings in public-facing commentator salaries are warranted and has begun the process,” ESPN said in a statement. “This effort will include short-term A small number of layoffs and a continued focus on cost management as we negotiate individual contract renewals in the coming months.”

“This has been an extremely challenging process involving individuals who have had a huge impact on our company,” the network said. “These difficult decisions, based more on overall efficiency than performance, will help us achieve our financial goals and secure future growth of.”

The cuts are part of ESPN’s efforts to meet its financial goals for 2023 and beyond. Providing high salaries to broadcast employees will allow ESPN to retain more employees across the organization.

Disney, which owns a majority stake in ESPN, recently wrapped up its own round of layoffs, cutting 7,000 jobs. The media giant is cutting costs to boost free cash flow as streaming growth slows. Disney may need cash if it chooses to acquire Comcast’s minority stake in Hulu — a deal that triggers options in early 2024.

There will be more flights in the future

ESPN’s cuts have nothing to do with that plan and are tied to its own set of metrics and priorities. Disney restructured the company earlier this year, giving ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro responsibility for the balance sheet.

ESPN also plans not to renew the contracts of any more on-air crews as their contracts expire in the coming months, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity. That could mean another 20 or so flights, another person familiar with the matter said.

The fired employees have the option to work elsewhere but must renegotiate their outstanding contracts with ESPN, one of the people said. ESPN may offer lower severance packages for the remainder of the contract if employees find work at competitors, than employees who find work in other areas, the person said.

Van Gundy spent 16 years at ESPN, earning widespread acclaim for his game commentary and sense of humor. He forms a three-man broadcast team for NBA games along with playcaster Mike Breen and co-analyst and former NBA player and coach Mark Jackson.

Rose has appeared on ESPN and ABC’s NBA pregame show NBA Countdown, Since 2012. He joined ESPN in 2007. The New York Post first reported ESPN will fire Van Gundy and Rose.

ESPN announced hiring of former NFL bettor last month Pat McAfee, host of The Pat McAfee Show. According to the New York Post ESPN paid McAfee about $85 million over five years. Still, ESPN’s McAfee offers a ready-made show that the network believes will be profitable from day one.

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