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Well, if you're owned by Disney Studios these days, chances are the more strategic business decision making has to do with laying workers off.

Disney has really pissed me off lately, in more ways than one.  I used to be angry when Michael Eisner was CEO and he almost ran the company down to the ground, not to mention laying off just about the entire 2d animation team was being let go.  Pixar co-founder John Lasseter was one of the animators at Disney back in the day who got the pink slip but of course, he helped start the company that is giving Disney a bit of mojo these days.

Actually, a bit of mojo isn't good enough for Disney.  Although Michael Eisner is gone (thankfully), Disney Studios remains just about determined to tarnish Walt Disney's legacy with their bureaucratic, systematic, administrative decision making without any regard to workers.  In a way, they're becoming the Walmart of film studios.

In the case of stabbing George Lucas in the back by buying LucasArts for a few billion and then shutting down the entire team at the company, now ESPN is taking the bait.

NEW YORK — ESPN is cutting its workforce, the latest Disney division to reduce staff.

"We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs," the sports media giant said in a statement Tuesday. "While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive."

As the news video above states, roughly 300 employees are being laid off.  Not sure what ESPN means when it says the layoffs will make them more competitive, innovative and productive.  

In fact, by mentioning innovative, there is nothing innovative about laying off staff.  That's like saying Greece was innovative in implementing continued austerity measures. We all know innovation comes from technology, real creativity and real outside the box thinking as opposed to Draconian cuts.

This is where the ESPN firing situation gets bizarre in my opinion.  Per the Tweet of James Andrews Miller at ESPN Book:

Ok.  So layoffs are between 300-400, including open jobs that won't be filled.  However, ESPN still seems to be hiring and in growth mode.

Does this make any sense?!  Of course not.  ESPN doesn't seem to want to take the time to offer its employees the chance to take on other roles and instead gives them the birdie.  I'm sure the company probably thought the workers couldn't have the shot at the new positions being hired for.  Who knows what will happen to the new people who get hired in the new positions years down the road?

However, you can tell Disney is really just run by robots these days if it continues to be "on a roll financially."

Still, Disney has been on a roll financially, beating or matching earnings per share estimates for the last eight quarters. After it reported a 32 percent gain in net income for its fiscal second-quarter earnings two weeks ago, more than a dozen Wall Street analysts raised their price targets on Disney stock to an average of nearly $72.
As usual, like most corporations that seem to be interested in micromanaging their expenses while at the same time giving the short end of the stick to the workers, ESPN seems to be yet another company that's living too much in the past and not in the 21st century where innovative companies like Google and Salesforce are more likely to make decisions not on the backs of workers (with the exception of acquisitions).

ESPN isn't getting me any support these days so long as Disney continues to own it.  However, I do like the Star Wars ad made years ago:

If any of you want to go after ESPN, you're more than welcome to.

ESPN Corporate Office & Headquarters
500 South Buena Vista Street Burbank CA 91521

1-888-549-3776 (ESPN)
(818) 560-1000



Opinion of ESPN at this point?

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Comment Preferences

  •  I do not taste with my stomach. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Bob Love, Mannie

    But thank you for the info.

    I was gonna listen to that, but then, um, I just carried on living my life. - Aldous Snow

    by GoGoGoEverton on Thu May 23, 2013 at 12:21:34 PM PDT

  •  ESPN is responsible for 50% of Disney's mkt cap (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, Loge, Tinfoil Hat, peacestpete

    It's a cash cow.

    And how could it not be.

    Every month, it receives US$ 5.50 from every pay tv subscriber in the USA.

    And that 5.50 grows well above the rate of inflation.

    Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

    by PatriciaVa on Thu May 23, 2013 at 12:27:17 PM PDT

  •  So this is how ESPN responds... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mannie, wintergreen8694, Loge, dougymi the upcoming launch of Fox Sports 1?

    •  It's a Preemptive Strike (0+ / 0-)

      Within one year, ESPN will be asking for 6.50 dollars a month per subscriber.

      The cable and satellite distributors will argue that ESPN's fees are too high.

      ESPN will respond that it is paying the professional leagues (NBA, MLB, NFL, Tennis Majors et al.) so much that it had to lay off hundreds, that it's already doing more with less, that it needs every penny of that 6.50 to remain viable.

      Who's at fault?

      I blame the sports fan, the sports fan that is so obsessed with sports that he/she can't do without.

      Every pay tv subscriber that watches sports receives a HUGE subsidy from the non-sports pay tv subscriber.

      Learn about Centrist Economics, learn about Robert Rubin's Hamilton Project.

      by PatriciaVa on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:19:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm not so sure (0+ / 0-)

        There is a growing segment of the population that pretty much only watches sports on television, because it is one of the few things left people want to watch live and not delayed on the internet on hulu plus/netflix/amazon prime/etc.  So a sports fan might think they are subsidizing all the channels that you actually watch.

        The problem for ESPN is that really don't broadcast all that much live sport.  They have 1 out of 16 NFL games a week, and 2 out of ~95 MLB games a week.  They have minor sports as well occasionally, and I don't know how much NHL/NBA.  I think most of the national NHL is on NBC's sports channel, TNT has a large portion of the national NBA games as well.

  •  And CT Gov. Malloy gave how many $millions to... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Loge, PatriciaVa

    ESPN in the past years to create jobs?

    Plato's " The Cave" taught me to question reality.

    by CTDemoFarmer on Thu May 23, 2013 at 12:59:32 PM PDT

  •  They're actually (4+ / 0-)

    laying off these employees then hiring younger and cheaper ones.  

    I wish they'd lay off some of their army of useless on-air talent.

    •  absolutely. (0+ / 0-)

      That seems to me to be the more cost effective approach. Keep the support and research personnel that have made espn what it is and get rid of the high priced talking heads and useless "analysts" who just bloviate to hear themselves talk.

      A learning experience is one of those things that says, 'You know that thing you just did? Don't do that.' Douglas Adams

      by dougymi on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:38:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  They're hiring back (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, shaso, JVolvo

    workers at lower rates, with less experience.  ESPN's seen its quality go down, down, down, with much more focus on inane studio debates.  They have way too many overpriced on screen shouters and uninformed ex-players in ugly suits to squeeze juice out of the rind by cutting PA's.

    Their NBA game broadcasts and NFL news coverage are good and they did a good job with production of English soccer (which they're losing).  Sportscenter is usually a well-done product, even though it prioritizes the sports ESPN has broadcast rights to (which in turn boost demand for that sport). Their baseball studio coverage lags behind MLB network and their broadcasts have declined in quality this season with John Kruk in the booth.  Monday Night Football production is way behind.  Fox Sports puts out a dumbed down product on everything.  NBC sports channel is doing a great job with the hockey playoffs and NFL rights, and I'm excited for what they can do with English soccer.  If they hire McManaman and Darke, and add a nightly highlight show and use Costas for baseball highlights, they could replace ESPN as my default pretty soon the more ESPN falls apart.  Not optimistic about Fox Sports One.  College gameday is a lot of fun, but why do they keep trotting out the same blowhards (Berman, Bayless, Kiper, Vitale for everything).

    Difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

    by Loge on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:13:54 PM PDT

  •  Who are they competing with? (0+ / 0-)

    And how will layoffs make them more competitive?

    I like ESPN, but I don't understand this move.

    "The difference between the right word and the almost-right word is like the difference between lightning and the lightning bug." -- Mark Twain

    by Brooke In Seattle on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:23:17 PM PDT

  •  Please let one of the layoffs be Curt Schilling. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    dougymi, JVolvo, PapaChach, Rich in PA
  •  "Determined to tarnish Walt Disney's legacy." (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Crider, The Dead Man, PapaChach

    Sorry but in all honesty this pretty much is Walt Disney's legacy.

    He took personal credit for work done by others.  

    When workers attempted to organize in response to salary cuts and layoffs he fought them tooth and nail and labeled them communists.

    He went in front of HUAC in 1947 and named animators and organizers who opposed him as communists.

    Did Disney studios create onscreen magic?  Sure.  But behind the screen is was a sausage factory.

    And you know what Bismarck said about sausages...

    "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

    by Notthemayor on Thu May 23, 2013 at 01:35:06 PM PDT

    •  That is the biggest B.S. I've ever heard (0+ / 0-)

      Have you ever been to Walt Disney Museum?  Disney himself was an animator and filmmaker himself before he started Disney studios.  He was never a businessman by nature.  If you go to the museum, you'll get more insight into Disney the man and see a video that shows Disney actually practicing voice over work with artists.  Do CEOs like Robert Iger practice this anymore?  No!  They are corporate tools and more cocky MBA types who care nothing but money.

      Also, the point about Disney studios being a sausage factory:  Well, to be frank, working in film studios is by nature a very competitive, fast paced environment that's risky and nothing is static.  The way it was for Disney is the way it was for studios decades ago.  If it was an unpleasant experience working with Walt Disney, same for all the studios during his days (although Disney studios was the most successful and innovative so that required more out of workers).

      The difference during Disney's era vs. Disney studios today is that Disney films nowadays are utter crap and as entertaining as Saturday morning cartoons on ADD.  At least Disney's films had quality (mainly animated features).  For what ever conditions I'd have to go through during Disney's era, at least I would be proud to have been remembered contributing to innovative films like Pinocchio and Sleeping Beauty.  I wouldn't be proud of working for films these days because they cater to the lowest common denominator.

    •  However, I agree Disney himself isn't a saint (0+ / 0-)

      I know in the books I've read about him that he wasn't a pleasant person.  He was also conservative and it showed.  The union issues are a big thing that revealed Disney's not so pleasant side.  On the other hand, the decisions by Disney management these days are more stupid and insensitive than anything Disney every did.

      However, to say Disney gets all the credit is really just passive.  Of course he was the founder and CEO of Disney but he also contributed to the films himself as someone who has worked many times on film before.  People of course were more conservative in Disney's era as well.

      •  No offense intended... (0+ / 0-)

        And I have a great love for much of what was produced by the Disney studios in the 1930s - 1950s.

        And yes, I think it was by and large superior to what they produce today.  At least outside the animation division, which still does wonderful work at times.

        But I don't really think I'm off the mark regarding Disney's business practices or Mr. Disney himself.

        His strident anti-unionism and his appearance before HUAC are matters of public record.

        As for denying others credit...great artists like Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson worked for decades without credit.  Indeed, it was only the efforts of dedicated fans who ultimately uncovered them.

        Does that mean that you...or anyone...shouldn't enjoy Snow White or Pinocchio or Fantasia?  Of course not.  But working for Walt 80 years ago was no more a trip to a magic kingdom that working for the corporate Disney of today.

        And as for the sausage remark...which I am sorry for as it seemed to upset you greatly...hey, I write comic books professionally for crying out loud.  Not only do I make sausage, I make really low cheap sausage.  Believe me, I would LOVE to make sausage as classy as that made by the Disney.

        But sometimes it's easier to enjoy if you don't know all the details of what went into the making.

        "I don't give them Hell. I just tell the truth about them and they think it's Hell."

        by Notthemayor on Fri May 24, 2013 at 12:20:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  You're dealing with a different era (0+ / 0-)

          "But working for Walt 80 years ago was no more a trip to a magic kingdom that working for the corporate Disney of today."

          That's a rather naive statement if you ask me.  

          Disney studios actually produced films that were movies as opposed to Disney films nowadays which to be quite honest, are lower in quality.  In Disney's era, you never dealt with demographics, no market research was used and test screenings never existed.

          The difference is:  Disney had ideas.  Disney executives nowadays have NO ideas except how to buy George Lucas's property, stab him in the back and lay off employees.  You can say all you want about Disney's relationship with the unions during his day but Disney was an animator and filmmaker himself so at least he actually knew what it was like to create things.  Disney executives have NO idea what it's like to make films.  Disney did and he actually did work on a number of them himself.  He was passionate about filmmaking.

          And plus, the economy in Disney's era was much different and less diversified than it is today.  You didn't have a tech industry and agricultural industries were more prominent even in WWII when Disney founded the Disney studios.  Work environments from the 1930's to the 1960's were much different in attitude than today, at least varying on different companies.  Attitudes were more conservative decades ago versus today, where more companies are becoming more accepting and respectful of employee empowerment.  In business school, you learn there's quite a considerable difference in the business community of today versus when it was in Disney's era.  It's the evolution of the business industry as we call it.

          I'm actually not offended by what you said.  I'm just tired of Hollywood studios like Disney making more stupid decisions on the backs of workers just to save money even while they make loads of money.  If anything, Walt Disney himself made very few if any stupid decisions.  The Walt Disney Museum is something I'd encourage you to attend if you haven't done so already.  I was actually a strong critic of Walt Disney myself prior to the museum but upon leaving, I really had a new admiration of the man and have begun to think now:  Working at films studios must be depressing these days.

  •  My husband's cousin is one of the (0+ / 0-)

    SportCenter anchors, Jay Harris.  Another cousin works doing their web design.

    I doubt this will affect Jay, but the other cousin ....

  •  This is great news (0+ / 0-)

    ... for stockholders/investors.

    Obama: self-described Republican; backed up by right-wing policies

    by The Dead Man on Thu May 23, 2013 at 02:35:07 PM PDT

  •  They could can all the shows from 10AM to 5PM... (0+ / 0-)

    ...on weekdays and re-run old games, and they'd probably net more money.  Heck, they could re-run old SportsCenters!

    You know, I sometimes think if I could see, I'd be kicking a lot of ass. -Stevie Wonder at the Glastonbury Festival, 2010

    by Rich in PA on Thu May 23, 2013 at 06:06:11 PM PDT

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