Sources: ESPNU Studio Ops Moving To Bristol As Part Of Layoffs
A source said that as part of the layoffs at ESPN, the net is "moving its ESPNU studio operation from Charlotte to Bristol." A few ESPNU positions "will remain in Charlotte, primarily the people responsible for producing the large number of events that air on the channel." In total, fewer than 10 people in Charlotte "are being laid off." The SEC Network operations, as well as an events division, "will remain in Charlotte" (CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.com, 4/26).
Several ESPN staffers affected by the layoffs took to Twitter to express their thoughts. Jane McManus wrote, “This would feel more personal if it weren’t for the terrific colleagues who are going through the same thing today.” Max Olson: “ESPN took a chance on me as a 21-year-old right out of college. This definitely hurts, but I’m so grateful for the incredible opportunity.” Len Elmore: “Gee, I feel like I am now part of an exclusive club. #ESPNLayoff. For 21 yrs. I tried to represent the best in college hoops. Adios Bristol!” Trent Dilfer: “Laid off by ESPN today. Although sad cause I loved my job, mostly filled w/gratitude & appreciation for the 9 years #GreatFriendsAndTeammates.” Jayson Stark: “For 17 yrs I’ve had a dream job covering baseball for ESPN. Today is my last day. Thanks to all the great people at ESPN, MLB & all of you!
Reaction from around the industry also continued to pour in this afternoon on Twitter. Brett Favre: "Disappointing news Ed Werder is leaving ESPN." The N.Y. Times' Tyler Kepner: "Jayson Stark has been THE BEST at what he does for decades, and a true inspiration personally and professionally for decades. Unfathomable." Newsday's Neil Best: "Early takeaway from @ESPN layoffs ... Personality = good. Reporting = less good." The Chicago Tribune's Shannon Ryan: "Someone could start a hell of a sports publication with the talented reporters ESPN let go today. Just in college basketball alone." CBS' Armen Keteyian: "Hard to fathom the carnage today at @ESPN. Truly a dark day for sports journalism." Wall Street Journal sports reporter Matthew Futterman: "A lot of @ESPN talent laid off today wrote a lot of stories I wished I had written. Hopefully the industry finds room for these folks."
ESPN's Bob Ley at the end of "OTL" today also took a moment to address the layoffs:
From Bob Ley pic.twitter.com/rjJVi7JZaZ— Outside The Lines (@OTLonESPN) April 26, 2017