Since Richard Deitsch of Sports Illustrated reported that on-air cuts were coming to ESPN, the two big questions have been, who will be let go, and how many total positions will be eliminated? Well, we may have an answer to at least one of those questions.
Award winning journalist James Andrew Miller, who authored the book “These Guys Have All The Fun – Inside The World of ESPN” appeared on Deitsch’s podcast, and said that the network is likely to part ways with 40-50 on-air people. Miller says the rumors of ESPN trimming $80-$90 million in salary are not accurate, but nonetheless many will soon be unable to continue their careers at the worldwide leader in sports.
In regards to the network’s future on-air television schedule, Miller laid out what he expected the new lineup to look like (see below). He says the personalities included in these shows should feel comfortable, but others at ESPN understandably have reasons to be nervous.
An additional interesting point Miller raised is that the network’s morning radio program would not include a television simulcast. Trey Wingo is rumored to be next in line to team with Golic and replace Greenberg. How that impacts future talks with Wingo and Golic remains to be seen.
One talent who is involved in contract negotiations and is expected to remain according to Miller is Steve Levy. Mike McCarthy of the Sporting News reported earlier this week that John Buccigross’ contract expires on July 1st, and his future with the network is unclear. Deitsch and Miller also noted that there is a possibility that some on-air talent could be retained if they’re open to accepting pay cuts.
ESPN’S FUTURE ON-AIR SCHEDULE ACCORDING TO JIM MILLER:
- 6am – SportsCenter with Neil Everett and Stan Verrett re-aired from the night before
- 7am-10am – Mike Greenberg’s new show, which is expected to feature only one on-air personality
- 10am-12p – First Take with Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman, and Molly Qerim
- 12pm-1pm – A new show featuring Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre
- 1pm-6pm – ESPN’s current programs which includes Highly Questionable, Around The Horn, PTI, etc.
- 6pm – SC6 with Michael Smith and Jemele Hill
- Evenings – Live sporting events
- 11pm – SportsCenter
- Midnight – SportsCenter with Scott Van Pelt
- 1am – SportsCenter with Everett and Verrett