When most employees show up for their first day at a new job, they get an orientation, a tour and a little time to get settled.
When Yahoo breaking news maestro Adrian Wojnarowski shows up for his first day at ESPN, he’ll be reporting on one of the craziest days on the NBA calendar.
After months of speculation and anticipation, Woj will officially begin at ESPN on July 1, the first day of NBA free agency, according to Sports Illustrated’s Richard Deitsch.
Woj will essentially replace his rival Marc Stein, who was part of the ESPN layoffs in April but has continued working for the Worldwide Leader since, bridging the gap to Woj’s arrival.
Per Sources: @WojVerticalNBA will start at ESPN on July 1.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) June 26, 2017
The idea that Woj might be headed to ESPN took off in February, when Deadspin reported that the sides were “close” on an agreement that would pry him from Yahoo. On May 1, less than a week after the ESPN layoffs were announced, Recode broke the news that Woj would start at ESPN this summer, initially reporting he’d start for the NBA Draft before correcting that he’d actual begin after the event.
Woj isn’t the only Yahoo Sports writer headed out the door, though he might be the only one leaving willingly. Yahoo, which was bought by Verizon last year, has recently laid off numerous bloggers in budget-conscious cuts.
Deitsch reports that some of Woj’s staff from The Vertical will follow him to ESPN, as Recode initially reported, but that the details have not been fully ironed out. In addition to Stein, ESPN let go of Henry Abbott, Chad Ford, Ethan Sherwood Strauss and Calvin Watkins, leaving the network with plenty of openings for Yahoo-imported talent.
ESPN also faces somewhat of a decision on how exactly to use Woj. Obviously he’ll continue to break all kinds of NBA news, but will he appear often on television as well? Will he write as many columns? More columns? Despite the layoffs, ESPN retains a deep stable of ESPN writers; now they just have to figure out where their new star fits in.