June 30th, 2023 was a Black Friday in Bristol, Connecticut.
ESPN has been laying off employees for the last several months as Disney faces cost-cutting measures like many other media contemporary media companies. While many layoffs focused on individuals behind the scenes, Friday’s layoffs at the end of June were shocking in the number and profile of those who were let go from ESPN. It includes some of the network’s most prominent and longest-tenured on-air personalities. They join Neil Everett, Chris Chelios, and Rob Ninkovich who had already departed the network.
Below is an updated list of personalities that will no longer be seen on ESPN.
June 30th ESPN layoffs
Jeff Van Gundy – Arguably the most shocking decision, Van Gundy had called an incredible 17 NBA Finals with ESPN after joining the network in 2007. He had worked the last 15 NBA Finals alongside Mike Breen and Mark Jackson, forming one of the longest-lasting trios in the history of sports broadcasting.
Jalen Rose – Rose had worn a lot of hats at ESPN since coming to ESPN in 2007 – college basketball analyst, NBA analyst, Jalen & Jacoby host, and Get Up star. He had most recently been a part of ESPN’s main NBA Countdown set as it looks like that show will be retooled for the zillionth time.
Max Kellerman – Kellerman’s fate at ESPN was expected after the cancelation of his morning radio show alongside Keyshawn Johnson and Jay Williams and Pat McAfee’s impending arrival potentially replacing This Just In during the afternoons. This was Kellerman’s second tour at ESPN. Many years ago he was featured on ESPN’s boxing coverage before launching Around the Horn in 2002. After a stint at Fox Sports, Kellerman returned to ESPN first in Los Angeles with Marcellus Wiley then as Stephen A. Smith’s First Take debate partner from 2016-2021. After Smith unceremoniously shooed Kellerman away, he took on his current roles, but seemed to be ESPN’s odd man out once again.
Keyshawn Johnson – Johnson became a part of the ESPN machine while still an active player for the Carolina Panthers in 2007. During that time he bounced back and forth between television analyst and radio host, first in Los Angeles and then nationally.
Todd McShay – McShay rose to prominence as a foil and partner for Mel Kiper in ESPN’s ever-expanding NFL Draft coverage while also serving as a college football sideline reporter. McShay came to ESPN in 2006 as part of Scouts Inc. where he served as director of college football scouting.
Matt Hasselbeck – The former Seahawks QB followed in his brother Tim’s footsteps by coming to Bristol after his retirement in 2016. Hasselbeck was featured prominently on Sunday NFL Countdown and appeared on other ESPN platforms as well.
Ashley Brewer – Brewer became a SportsCenter anchor in September 2020 after coming to ESPN earlier in the year. She was based in ESPN’s Los Angeles studios.
I am so grateful for my time at ESPN and the opportunity to host Sportscenter. I learned and grew so much as a broadcaster and person. I will really miss all of the wonderful friends I made along the way.
I know God has a plan for my life and I look forward to what’s next.
— Ashley Brewer (@ESPNAshley) June 30, 2023
Suzy Kolber – Another stunning departure is Kolber, who has been a stalwart of ESPN’s NFL coverage for decades. She started at ESPN in 1993 and was part of the launch of ESPN2 and as a SportsCenter anchor among many positions. After three years working for Fox, she returned in 1999 as one of the network’s central NFL anchors most recently on Monday Night Countdown.
Today I join the many hard-working colleagues who have been laid off.
Heartbreaking-but 27 years at ESPN was a good run.
So grateful for a 38 yr career!
Longevity for a woman in this business is something I’m especially proud of.
Next step- a project that gives back. ❤️ pic.twitter.com/URitozP0LQ
— Suzy Kolber (@SuzyKolber) June 30, 2023
Steve Young – The Hall of Fame quarterback’s departure is another sign of an end of an era at ESPN. Young came to the network full-time in 2000 after his retirement from football and had been a major part of pretty much every facet of ESPN’s NFL coverage as a studio analyst including with Kolber for years on Monday Night Countdown.
Laphonso Ellis – The former Notre Dame star and 11 year NBA veteran had been a part of ESPN’s college basketball coverage as a game and studio analyst since 2009, being a part of College GameDay in 2019.
Jason Fitz – The former musician from The Band Perry had been featured on ESPN Radio with multiple partners both regionally and nationally since 2016. Just this year he was paired with former Atlanta Falcons wide receiver Harry Douglas on the ESPN Radio daily lineup.
Joon Lee – Lee was a baseball writer and host for Baseball Tonight Live, ESPN’s streaming pregame show. He was instrumental in the network’s coverage of the KBO during the COVID pandemic.
My time at ESPN is over
Incredibly grateful for all the opportunities I received over the last four-plus years. I got to live out my literal childhood dream job, worked with some of the most talented people and made so many friends.
Really excited to see whatever comes next
— Joon Lee (@joonlee) June 30, 2023
Jordan Cornette – A captain at Notre Dame, Cornette came to ESPN in 2016 was a college basketball analyst and host, predominantly on the ACC Network. He also hosted Gameday on ESPN Radio on weekends with his wife Shae Peppler Cornette.
Enjoyed my 6 years at ESPN. On to the next opportunity.
— jordan cornette (@jordancornette) June 30, 2023
David Pollack – A longtime member of one of ESPN’s signature shows, College GameDay, Pollack was at ESPN since 2009. In addition to College GameDay, which he joined in 2011, Pollack was a major figure in ESPN’s college football coverage in the broadcast booth and studio.
Anything big happen today? ? ?? pic.twitter.com/XvXnPXhgb7
— David Pollack (@davidpollack47) July 1, 2023
Nick Friedell – Friedell has been with ESPN since 2009. For almost a decade, he covered the Chicago Bulls and was a founding member of the ESPNChicago.com team, and was a regular contributor to ESPN Radio. Friedell relocated to the Bay Area in 2018 and had been covering the NBA nationally for ESPN since then.
*** This list will update as news of ESPN layoffs continues to break throughout the day. ***