jim miller

ESPN guru Jim Miller appeared on the SI media podcast in an episode published Thursday and offered some details into the upcoming round of layoffs (which will reportedly affect only on-air talent) at the Worldwide Leader.

Asked by SI’s Richard Deitsch about the scope of the layoffs, here’s what Miller had to say:

The way that I’ve heard it—and I’ve kind of run the numbers on it, I think we’re looking at between 40 and 50 people. The numbers that some people reported about $80-90 million were probably ridiculous by a factor of three, but if you think of it in terms of 40-50, I think that’s a safe range based on what I’ve been talking to people about.

And look, there’s a lot of uncertainty about who it’s gonna be and why. Remember, this is not quantum physics, so it’s not an exact equation.

Miller then mapped out what he expects weekdays on ESPN will look like based on deals the network has already made, saying that these personalities can feel safe but that everyone else might need to sweat a bit.

6 a.m. — Re-air of Neil Everett and Stan Verrett’s SportsCenter from the night before
7-10 a.m. — Mike Greenberg’s newly announced show, which, as Miller points out, will feature only one on-air personality
10 a.m.-noon — First Take, presumably still featuring Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim
Noon-1 p.m. — A widely rumored but yet-to-be-unveiled show featuring Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre
1-6 p.m. —”The normal kind of coverage of what they’re doing, and Around the Horn and PTI
p.m. — SC6 with Jemele Hill and Michael Smith
Evening — Live sports
11 p.m. — SportsCenter
Midnight — Scott Van Pelt’s SportsCenter show
1 a.m. — Everett and Verrett’s SportsCenter show

“If you’re ESPN talent and you’re looking at a schedule that’s something like that, based on the commitments they’ve made, if you’re not on that, then you’re starting to feel a little shaky,” Miller said. “That’s not to say everyone else is gone, but I think those are the people that should take a deep breath, and those are the people that should feel immune.”

Miller then said the ESPN Radio pairing of Mike Golic and Trey Wingo wouldn’t even get a simulcast on ESPN, suggesting that’s evidence ESPN is really playing hardball with big-name talent.

Citing sources at ESPN, Deitsch then said, “If you are part of the SportsCenter unit right now but not one of the special talents where management has tapped on the shoulder and given the golden ticket, if I were one of those people I would be talking to my agent and my representation about how management thinks of me.”

Deitsch and Miller both said ESPN might be amenable to on-air personalities taking dramatic pay-cuts to keep their jobs.

Via SI, here’s the full podcast:

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports, MLB.com, SI.com and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • DrewShervin

    Absolutely baffling they are keeping SC6 with Hill and Smith. Who watches that nonsense.

    • brown ben plumm

      Me! Lol

  • YouAreWrongAndDumb

    Good! Clean house! Very little chance of throwing the baby out with the bathwater there. Pretty much the entire network is hot garbage.

  • Raymond Chuang

    I still think ESPN may NOT break up “Mike & Mike.” With good reason: that show is a major revenue producer for the network and given the money problems there lately, they cannot afford to end that show. Not when ESPN-own radio stations and ESPN Radio affiliates in the Central and Eastern time zones are possibly complaining.

    • Walt_Gekko

      I would not be so sure, especially since ESPN could simply rename “Mike & Mike” “Mike & Mike Jr.” and the Golics do the show together (Mike Jr. already is on the show regularly and precedes his dad on ESPN Radio from 4:00-6:00 AM on “First & Last” that he does with Robin Lundberg).

  • Bscotch Bscotch

    Schadenfreude….if ESPN is no longer what it has been, what will these 2 guys write about?

    • Respected Citizen


  • sarah413

    The days of a network airing nothing but sports highlights are gone. Over. Kaput. Deceased. There are so many reasons for that that it’s hard to pin it on just one. There’s the “millennial” reason. Many want to see sports and current events (music/movies/social media) incorporated. There’s the “cutting the chord” faction that no longer subscribe to cable/satellite coverage. Many now get Roku/Hulu so they can select what they want and when they want it. Sports programming is available, but they’re not locked into paying an exorbitant fee. ESPN charges cable/dish providers and enormous fee and that’s passed on to subscribers. I watch fewer and fewer programs on ESPN. ESPNFC/The Sports Reporters (although that’s become a bit more political of late) and Around the Horn. After that, any soccer matches. As an “older Vvewer (65)” my overall viewing habits have changed. Very little network viewing now. ESPN got too big for its britches and the chickens have come home to roost.

  • Sergeant2

    Molly Qerim has taken over First Take, not even Stephen A. Smith can get a word in, much less Max Kellerman.

  • Bud Buddy

    “Bomani Jones and Pablo Torre” No offense to Pablo but this would be a good chance for ESPN to counteract Bomani’s notorious race baiting by putting somebody with strong opposing views to push back against him. As of now you have a known regressive (Bromani) and a known progressive (Pablo) and nothing for the slight left, central, slight right, or far right.

  • Respected Citizen

    That looks like the same sked ESPN has now, without morning Sportcenters, and fantasy sports shows.

    Fewer talking heads seems like a good thing.

    • Sundiata Bradshaw

      look at it again.
      Then agree with me that First Take needs to go

      • Respected Citizen

        First Take is on that new sked. I have no problem with you imaginarily cancelling it, though.

  • TexasOwl

    Please, please boot John McEnroe from your tennis coverage. So tired of hearing him yammer on and on about how he did things and the last time he played Borg.

  • Pingback: ESPN expected to finish most layoffs by mid-May, may buy out some employees()

  • iamme123

    ESPN is trash now. They use to report on sports now they just bash everyone and push their own views and agendas on us.