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ESPN lays off longtime hosts in major shakeup

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ESPN laid off roughly 20 prominent on-air personalities. (Kevin Abele/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images) It was a bloodbath at ESPN on Friday, as the Disney-owned network axed roughly 20 prominent jobs during a brutal round of layoffs."Given the current environment, ESPN has determined it necessary to identify some additional cost savings in the area of public-facing commentator salaries, and that process has begun.

This exercise will include a small group of job cuts in the short-term and an ongoing focus on managing costs when we negotiate individual contract renewals in the months ahead," ESPN told Fox News Digital."This is an extremely challenging process, involving individuals who have had tremendous impact on our company," ESPN continued. "These difficult decisions, based more on overall efficiency than merit, will help us meet our financial targets and ensure future growth." An ESPN insider told Fox News Digital that high-paid staffers were let go in order to save rank-and-file positions.

The New York Post reporter Andrew Marchand, who is typically all over ESPN-related news, first reported the latest layoffs that have stunned the sports media industry. "ESPN will be telling some employees with contracts that they will still be paid, but they will no longer be on-air.

If an on-air person finds him or herself in this position, they will likely be able to work at another network, but will have to hash it out with ESPN’s legal department," Marchand wrote.

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