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More Cuts at ESPN

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Doc Holliday, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. ondeadline

    ondeadline Well-Known Member

  2. maumann

    maumann Well-Known Member

    Terrible news for Ivan and all of the people having their jobs cut.

    He was one of the first there just after the start of the famous "GO" network started by Disney, which was stillborn almost from the announcement. Took until 2016 to finally switch their URL away from "espn.go.com"

    Almost as stupid as AOL "keywords." Our logo actually said, "Keyword: NASCAR."
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
    Donny in his element likes this.
  3. Hooray4snail

    Hooray4snail Active Member

    Don't know who this is, but apparently she has a lot of fans in Bristol and elsewhere.
  4. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    I hate to say it but I didn't even know that Ivan Maisel was still at ESPN. As he was under contract, it's not uncommon to have a window 60 or 90 days out that the company will or will not be extending a contract. This doesn't seem like a firing as much as a non-renewal. Those are, yes, common in the TV world. But they happen. It's like an apartment lease. Always gotta be ready in case it doesn't get extended.

    This goes back to the corporate term "head count" but also who makes money for the Mothership in 2020? Stephen A. (hosts), Schefter and Woj (info guys). Sadly, the experts of the written word may not have the value in 2020 that they did in 2000 or 2005 in the Glory Days of ESPN.com or Page 2.
  5. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    Wrong. The writers and journalists give a media outlet that wants to claim that it employs journalists substance it desperately needs, even if it is too cheap and/or ignorant to realize it.
  6. playthrough

    playthrough Moderator Staff Member

    There are still journalists and writers there. Just fewer than there should be. But that hardly makes ESPN unique, as we know.
  7. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    OK. It also doesn't justify what ESPN is doing. To claim that boots on the ground do not provide the value that a bunch of talking heads do is a flip statement. Those boots on the ground unearthing the information allows Schefter to worry only about "nuggets," to give Stephen A. his talking points.

    Woj? There seems to be evidence that he will put his own boots on the ground and get the info himself. No question his "sources" of player agents, team execs and such put him over the top, but from where I sit, he can get the job done with or without the high-end sources.

    No one questions who is more high profile, who is identifiable, etc. But "value'? Flush that crap down the toilet.
  8. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    What was "wrong" about anything I said?

    I would have assumed, by this point, that The Athletic would have snapped up a writer with Maisel's credentials. The Athletic is doing what ESPN was trying to do 20 years ago but doing it better... as long as people pay the $59 a year to subscribe. The money now in sports television comes from live events, info/scoops and "eating innings" (PTI, Stephen A... even with his salary, those shows are incredibly cheap to do.).
  9. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    The Athletic cannot pick up everyone who has been laid off.

    What was "wrong"? The fact that you claim that three talking heads had more value than a guy like Ivan Maisel. It's the kind of stories Maisel wrote - that Jeff Goodman, Dana O'Neil and Brett McMurphy used to write for them - that helped with talking points and ... wait for it ... actual news. Not the screamfests (save PTI ... IMO, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilson have a different vibe and have made it work nicely) not "nuggets" and not the other vapid crap. To say a guy like Maisel does not have the value that talking heads do is a pile of crap, especially when you factor in how much the three talking heads you listed is being paid. Only Woj is anywhere close to worth it. The others are gross overpays IMO ... obviously the WWL disagrees.

    Just because ESPN thinks so does not mean they're correct. It's their decision and their money, but your attempts at rationalizing it was some weak sauce.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2020
  10. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    Ivan Maisel has a ton of journalistic value. We can all agree with that.

    What value does journalistic value have in Bristol right now? We can also probably agree not as much as 10-15 years ago.

    Part of working at an outlet like ESPN (or even local TV news) is the contract. When you sign it, the company and the employee agree there is a certain financial value to that person over a number of years.

    Most people under contracts usually have a pretty good sense of whether or not they’ll get renewed during that final year. I would imagine anyone who is, primarily, producigg written content and at a certain pay level knows they may be at risk at ESPN. Especially since March.

    It’s a cold part of the business. However, the contract probably kept him there a few months longer than he would have been without one.

    As for the “talkers”, if SaS makes 6m a year but gives them about 800 hours a year on ESPN, that’s $8k an hour. That’s not prohibitive in costs for national cable with $8 a month subscribers.
  11. Sam Mills 51

    Sam Mills 51 Well-Known Member

    I understand it's different for TV ... a few of us at a paper at South Carolina hung out with some cool folks from the affiliate in town. While we were under the same corporate umbrella, I have good memories of most of them.

    Therefore, I understand that it's about the contracts for you and your colleagues. I don't even want to imagine the pins and needles you're on come time for potential renewal. But in the years since my time there, the pendulum has swung. I still don't envy what you and your colleague have to endure from time to time, but us inky wretches have had to deal with it daily. And it's difficult to describe how ugly it is. When I got it some time back, I was OK. But a young colleague fresh out of school was in tears ... and she survived while I didn't. I loathe that she found out about the biz like that.

    Agreed when presented like this. But it's moves that makes the WWL much less credible. I understand that they couldn't care less what I think, but that doesn't make what they did the correct move or even a wise one.

    It's disgusting to watch media outlets - print, online, television or cable - try to cover up blunderous business moves by laying off the people who are critical to their success. And laying off the rank and file in an attempt to pay for bloated deals with the NFL and bloated salaries by incompetent as well as spineless sorts in corner offices should never sit well. Yeah, yeah ... way of the world and all that crap. Still unacceptable, and the comments typically made by those trying to rationalize and/or defend these actions usually succeeds only to pour jet fuel on the fire.
  12. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    Working with a contract is a funny endeavor, at times. They RULE what we do in TV. I can't just leave my job until 2022 (without paying a substantial financial hit) and it ends in 2023. During rough economic times, I do like having one. When times are smooth, I'd rather work without one. You always (or should) know the various windows of when you can leave, when they can terminate you (we all often have these clauses where they can fire us every 12 months after the contract starts... it's why I'm always extra nice to my boss and colleagues each... April). As I approach the final year of my deal - 2+ years from now -- I'll get the house projects done, pay off a few more of the liabilities I have and start downsizing my life. (I'll actually be LOOKING to move to another market at the end of the current deal).

    ESPN hasn't had much credibility with me for a fairly long time, between the Bud Light Hot Seat and the Rick Reilly hire, that had me heading for the exit. I don't see them as this beacon of entertainment as I did 20 years ago, when I was starting out in my twenties.

    That doesn't make it any less difficult for the people who moved there (Bristol doesn't have a lot of non-ESPN options if you're in "the business") with their families.

    SM51, we've all seen the business change. 25 years ago, I was a senior in college -- working 35+ hours at one of the TV stations, waiting prep/non-revenue college for the commercial daily, doing public access to "get reps" and offering free Saturday morning prep sports reports for any small-town radio station in the market just to get a little more experience (and they all took the free content... even if it was me reading the scores out of the same paper that I was on the payroll of). I left sports fifteen years ago because I just didn't see a plausible future for me in being a "sports highlight jockey".
    maumann, playthrough and MileHigh like this.
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