As you’re well aware, ESPN has been laying off staffers. The list of those who have been laid off to date is here. There have been a couple of public statements from ESPN in regards to the layoffs and for some who have to be on the air today, it’s a tough subject to avoid.

Adnan Virk who is hosting the Rusillo and Kanell show addressed the elephant in the room at the start of the show on both ESPN Radio and ESPNews. And he also paid tribute to Danny Kanell who was one of those laid off today:

Virk has worked with Kannel not just on ESPN Radio, but also on the Worldwide Leader’s college football coverage. It’s understandable to see Virk getting emotional talking about friends and colleagues losing their jobs and in particular Kanell.

At the end of Outside the Lines, original ESPN’er Bob Ley gave some thoughts on those who have lost their jobs:

Michelle Beadle also started today’s episode of SportsNation by mentioning the layoffs.

Tony Reali took some time at the end of Around the Horn to pass along his well-wishes and support:

At the end of the NBA-centric The Jump, Rachel Nichols mentioned the layoffs. She said “it stinks” regarding the job cuts and thanked those who made ESPN better.

On Baseball Tonight, host Karl Ravech paid tribute to Jayson Stark, Doug Granville, Dallas Braden and Raul Ibañez who were among the cuts on Wednesday:

During SportsCenter, Scott Van Pelt paid tribute to those who lost their jobs:

It’s a dark day for ESPN. And it’s tough for those who have to be on the air knowing their friends and co-workers are being laid off. There’s little solace in being laid off, but those who have lost their jobs can take heart knowing that they’re being paid tribute on-air.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013.

He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television.

Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.

  • Kokuanani

    Interesting to see that on the tv version of Russilloo & Kanell they had stripped ALL of the R&K logos from the set by the 1 pm opening. Place was completely bare and referred to as “ESPN Radio.” Wonder what the timing was, and how this all went down. Was there the usual “pre-show meeting”? When were the staff advised? VERY low class by ESPN!

    • Shawn Diiorio

      Jaymee Sire worked SCAM this morning and now she’s gone. Not sure if they actually fired her after working the show, but Laying off someone after working a full day is a Dick thing to do. No doubt about it.

      • Dan

        A company I used to work for, not in media, but in Packaged Consumer Goods, they had a bad knack of being classless about lay offs. A good friend of mine who had a counterpart, a female counterpart, was told that she was going to get promoted because she refused to relocate to the world headquarters, but he either had to relocate or be laid off. He moved!!! Moved his wife, his kids, sold his house, bought a new one in a much higher cost of living area, and a year later, on a Friday after lunch, was called into HR and told he was gone… he was escorted by security to his desk to collect his personal stuff, then he was escorted out of the building. AND they wondered why I never would move, and why two days after my mother-in-law was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer, they told me to take a promotion or take early retirement. I told them to cut me a check!!!

  • Destro

    Adnan said Ryen would be back Monday so I guess he’s going solo now. It’s funny because he has said on multiple occasions that he never would want 3 hours on air by himself.

    • Shawn Diiorio

      I’m certain if it was between that and not having employment, he’d take having the 3 hours.

      That being said, they may end up having him work with someone else going forward.

    • John L. Pestka

      I’ve read elsewhere that Russillo’s role would be “significantly reduced.” All signs point to the show not existing much longer.

      • Shawn Diiorio

        I doubt that is the case. Is the show really that much of an expense that it’s worthy of being axed in favor of something else? It’s people talking about sports for 3 hours, it’s about as inexpensive as you can get at ESPN. My guess is Rusillo’s involvement with NBA stuff and appearances on SC are what gets cut back. My guess is he does the radio and not much else.

        • John L. Pestka

          I think you’re right. Should have clarified that I think it means they’ll take Russillo off TV. Been hearing rumors for a while that they want to take that TV block and cut it up so that the “up and coming” talent get shows… Pablo Torre, Bomani Jones, Kate Fagan, etc.

          • OneOfOne

            no talent in that trio, but there is a lot of diversity which is all that the rainbow diversity channel wants

        • Destro

          The expense part is why I’m baffled they fired Kannel. He was on radio 3 hours a day, called college baseball games, and during CFB season he hosted College Football Live and did pregame, halftime, and post game shows. Supposedly his contract runs for another year and ESPN will honor it. That’s a lot of airtime you have to replace when you are going to be paying the guy anyway.

          • Dan

            I suspect part of the issue with Kannel is that he has morals that he sticks to. He doesn’t tow the company line. While it is true I quit watching the few ESPN shows I did watch years ago, I did so because they were becoming political, mostly liberal, from my perspective. If I want to watch political shows, I simply tune into MSNBC, CNN and FOX, depending on whether I want to hear both sides (Fox), but with a conservative slant, or if I simply want to hear the liberal slant… the other two!! I think Kannel simply called things as he saw them, and did not go out of his way to liberalize his commentary. Just a thought.

          • genjac3213

            ” depending on whether I want to hear both sides (Fox), but with a conservative slant”

            That makes no sense whatsoever.

          • Dan

            I suggest that maybe you take a reading comprehension class. Or, I guess I could write at a lower grade level, but other than that, you are on your own.

          • OneOfOne

            you are an idiot

      • Shawn Diiorio

        AA has said that news was not confirmed and may be false.

    • Dan

      A lot of people say stuff like that, but when the rubber hits the road, or in this case the paycheck hits the bank account, they really have no conflict…. they will do that which they railed against in the past to keep getting paid!!!!

  • Raymond Chuang

    This now ex-ESPN manager Jamie Horowitz’s chance to really build up FOX Sports in general. I wouldn’t be surprised that Danny Kanell, Jayson Stark and Ed Werder all find roles at FOX Sports within the next two months. Stark particularly could be on air with FOX Sports probably by as early as late May 2017.

    • Tom Ado

      It should be an opening for FS1, but they’re too stupid to take advantage of it. The fact they’re paying a crap-ton of money to Bayless and Whitlock shows they’re just trying to duplicate the worst of ESPN, rather than provide a true alternative.

      • MenardWDC

        This makes the best hope NBC, but I don’t think they’re going to do anything with it either because it doesn’t fit their current model. They cover the sports they have and that’s really about it, even more than the other two.

  • Dan

    I wonder, I read an article this morning that said they, the employees being laid off, could either accept half their pay and be off the air, or choose to hang on for the full amount of their contract, but that ESPN would then reduce their roles and they would basically be unseen. So, what I wonder, will the laid off employees have no compete clauses to prevent them going on air with another sports network unless they forfeit whatever contract payments they had left coming?

  • Pingback: Here are the confirmed ESPN layoffs (constantly updated)()

  • MrBull

    How did Beadle survive? She dumped should have been dumped! Absolutely lousy…and as to the local ESPN 710 LA, Jeff Biggs gets dumped but LZ is still on the air!…
    Majority of the decisions make no sense…upper management needs to be fired!

  • OneOfOne

    michael smith, jamelle hill, bomani jones, mike golic jr, jeremy shaap, the cast of first take, pti, and around the horn, the sports reporters, all of the aforementioned should have been waived instead of talent like the reporters in the story and danny kanell. FUCK espn. no need to watch them at all.