Earlier this year ESPN laid off dozens of on-air personalities in one of the most shocking waves of layoffs that the media industry has seen. Numerous well-known and longtime Bristol employees were told their services were no longer needed. People like Marc Stein, Ed Werder, Jayson Stark, Danny Kanell and many more were among the cuts at ESPN.
One of those individuals was Prim Siripipat. She was a multi-platform anchor and host at ESPN appearing on SportsCenter and Mike & Mike and other programs across television and radio. But after being laid off by ESPN, Siripipat is taking her life in a unique direction.
The Washington Post tells the fascinating story of Siripipat trying to make a return to tennis (where she played in college at Duke), 15 years after her last professional tournament:
An unexpected layoff from ESPN in April has given Siripipat the chance to go all-in on professional tennis 15 years after competing in her last pro tournament. This time, Siripipat said, she wants to end it the right way.
“I felt I didn’t go down fighting,” Siripipat, 36, said recently in a phone interview. “It was just so anti-climatic. … I started my career in broadcasting, and I never really took the time to properly say goodbye to the sport.”
“Had I stayed at ESPN, I probably would’ve ended the project in June, just because it was getting so difficult,” Siripipat said. “So I really do think that things happen for a reason. The universe or whoever you want to call it has a larger plan ahead of us, and I think I was definitely meant to do this in this period of my life, for whatever reason.”
One of the stark revelations from 2017 in sports media is that the number of jobs across the industry at mainstream national outlets have taken a major hit. It hasn’t been just ESPN or most recently Fox Sports Digital – almost every major media company has experienced layoffs over just the last couple months.
In the past 64 days alone, we've seen substantial layoffs at ESPN, SI, Fox Sports, Yahoo, HuffPost, Vocativ and MTV News. What an industry.
— Alex Putterman (@AlexPutterman) June 28, 2017
With the changes going on in sports media, both for writers and on-air talent, why not take some time to get out of the industry and pursue a dream?
The Post says that Siripipat hasn’t won a professional match yet in her return, but her coach is confident she can get some victories even if that doesn’t mean making it to Wimbledon. Hopefully Siripipat finds success either on the tennis court or on television if she ever does decide to return to that career.