- The Washington Times - Friday, October 27, 2017

The changing media landscape may force ESPN to implement its second round of substantial layoffs in less than a year.

Sources told Sporting News on Friday that up to 60 positions may be scrapped before the end of the year, as a shrinking subscriber base of traditional pay TV customers along with high programming costs continue to plague the industry leader in sports media.

The report follow the layoffs of about 100 on-air and online employees in late April, and after roughly 300 employees were let go in October 2015.

“This time it won’t matter if you’re ‘liked’ or not. It’s not going to be pretty,” a source said.

ESPN declined to comment when contacted by Sporting News.

The Walt Disney Company may also see to it that Bristol, Connecticut, employees with the network’s iconic “SportsCenter” are terminated.

“I see [ESPN] going down a path where they have less staff — and hire more production companies to provide programs and fill air time,” another source said.

The network, which pays $1.9 billion annually for “Monday Night Football” and $1.4 billion for the NBA, is also still paying millions in severance costs to many of the 100 anchors and reporters laid off in April, Sporting News reported.

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