Thursday December 7, 2023

ESPN Reportedly Closing Studios In Aftermath Of Layoffs

  • ESPN will reportedly close its New York studio that currently houses shows like "First Take."
  • Earlier this year, ESPN laid off dozens of on-air talent in cost-cutting moves.
Melissa Rawlins / ESPN Images
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ESPN has been in the news a lot this year, with most of the items pointing to a cloudy future for the Disney-owned sports network — a trend that won’t stop after more revelations about the company’s plans.

The network has reportedly decided to close its Seaport studios in New York by 2025 and will likely do the same for its Los Angeles studios that reside in the same complex as Arena, according to Puck News.

Current ESPN shows filmed and produced at the Seaport facility include:

  • “First Take”
  • “Get Up”
  • “NBA Countdown”
  • “Around The Horn”

Those shows will need new homes, and staff based at the Seaport facility will move to a new ABC building in Hudson Square. Should the L.A. studios close, those employees could work remotely or relocate.

This summer, ESPN completed a round of layoffs, severing ties with longtime on-air talent like Jeff Van Gundy and Steve Young. The Puck News report doesn’t specifically suggest more layoffs are coming, so it is to be determined if the eventual downsizing will make it difficult to retain every employee currently working at those studios.

Latest Change For ESPN

Beyond the layoffs earlier this year, Disney has started to look for a potential partner to buy equity in ESPN. Several leagues have had discussions about buying a portion of ESPN, and reports have also linked technology giants like Amazon and Verizon.

At the start of the current NFL and college football seasons, a carriage dispute with Charter Spectrum kept ESPN channels out of 14 million homes as Disney sought to retain its high rights fees for ESPN.

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