Wednesday September 27, 2023

ESPN Lets Go ‘Last Dance’ Producer In Layoffs

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The bruising ESPN layoffs have claimed one of the executive producers of the award-winning documentary, “The Last Dance.”

John Dahl, vice president, and executive producer for original content, films, and special projects, is among those leaving ESPN, sources said.

Dahl was an executive producer of the Emmy Award-winning “The Last Dance:” the 10-part documentary chronicling Michael Jordan’s last championship season with the Chicago Bulls.

Premiering during the heart of the COVID-19 pandemic in April 2020, the documentary was a sensation, attracting millions of viewers starved for sports content.


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Dahl has also played a huge role in ESPN Films since its launch in 2008.

He was an executive producer for the Academy Award-winning “30 for 30” documentary series.

He also oversaw ESPN’s College Football 150 initiative, which included 40 hours of original content around the sport’s 150th anniversary.

Dahl joins the list of other key talents caught in The Walt Disney Co.-mandated layoffs, including FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver and Mike Soltys, a beloved 43-year veteran, and second-longest tenured employee in Bristol.

With his sterling track record, Dahl could bounce back quickly. He’s a natural candidate for Bill Simmons’s “The Ringer” after working on 30 for 30 with the former columnist. As well as Peyton Manning’s Omaha Productions.

Ditto for former ESPN president John Skipper and Dan Le Batard’s fast-growing new content factory, Meadowlark Media. As well as ESPN’s former content czar Connor Schell, who’s set up his own production company dubbed Words + Pictures.

Returning Disney chief executive officer Bob Iger has ordered 7,000 job cuts and $5.5 billion in savings.

ESPN declined to comment.

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