espn layoffs

On April 26, 2017, the entire sports media world was rocked by news of about 100 layoffs at ESPN, many of them impacting big-name reporters, columnists, anchors, hosts and analysts.

A year later, those former ESPNers have landed in all sorts of interesting roles, from Food Network to the University of Pennsylvania to, of course, The Athletic. Here are updates on every known victim of ESPN’s April 2017 purge, broken into a few categories.

Joined The Athletic

ESPN’s layoffs turned out to be a great opportunity for The Athletic, which has grown from several cities to several dozen markets in the past year, while launching verticals on college basketball and college football made up largely of ESPN castoffs.

Dana O’Neil

Then: college basketball reporter
Now: College basketball reporter for The Athletic

Eamonn Brennan

Then: college basketball reporter
Now: College basketball reporter for The Athletic

Chantel Jennings

Then: college sports writer
Now: College football reporter for The Athletic

David Lombardi

Then: ESPN Pac-12 reporter
Now: 49ers beat writer for The Athletic

Jayson Stark

Then: MLB reporter, columnist
Now: MLB columnist for The Athletic; interview-show host for Stadium; MLB Network contributor

Johnette Howard

Then: columnist
Now: Columnist for The Athletic

Brian Bennett

Then: Big Ten reporter
Now: Freelance college basketball contributor for The Athletic

Max Olson

Then: Big 12 reporter
Now: College football reporter for The Athletic

C.L. Brown

Then: college basketball reporter
Now: College basketball reporter for The Athletic

Andrew Brandt

Then: ESPN business analyst
Now: Columnist for The Athletic, The MMQB

Ethan Strauss

Then: Golden State Warriors reporter
Now: Incoming Golden State Warriors reporter for The Athletic

Jim Bowden

Then: MLB columnist
Now: MLB columnist for The Athletic, analyst for CBS Sports HQ; radio host on SiriusXM

Mark Saxon

Then: ESPN St. Louis Cardinals beat reporter
Now: St. Louis Cardinals beat reporter for The Athletic

Scott Burnside

Then: NHL reporter, columnist
Now: NHL reporter for The Athletic

Pierre LeBrun

Then: NHL reporter, columnist
Now: NHL columnist for The Athletic; TSN contributor

Joe McDonald

Then: NHL reporter
Now: NHL reporter for The Athletic

Elsewhere in sports media

Robin Lundberg

Then: ESPN Radio host
Now: Host of Sports Illustrated’s SI Now Live and on CBS Sports Radio

Chris Hassel

Then: Anchor on SportsCenter, other shows
Now: CBS Sports HQ host; Stadium play-by-play announcer

Greg Ostendorf

Then: SEC reporter
Now: Writer for Auburn athletic-department website

Marysol Castro

Then: Host of Premier Boxing Champions
Now: Host and creator of SOMOS web show

Darren M. Haynes

Then: SportsCenter anchor
Now: WUSA9 sports director and reporter

Jeff Biggs

Then: ESPN LA radio host
Now: NBC Sports Radio host

Allen Bestwick

Then: ESPN motorsports commentator
Now: Back on ESPN for 2018 IndyCar season

Dave O’Brien

Then: Play-by-play commentator on various ESPN events, including MLB coverage
Now: Red Sox play-by-play voice on NESN (where he has worked since 2016)

Ed Werder

Then: ESPN NFL reporter
Now: Host of The Doomsday Podcast; Westwood One sideline reporter; restricted free agent

Jarrett Bell

Then: NFL contributor
Now: NFL columnist for USA Today (where he has been since before ESPN layoffs)

Paul Kuharsky

Then: Titans beat reporter
Now: Founder, writer, editor of; Radio host on 104.5 The Zone in Nashville

Brendan Fitzgerald

Then: ESPNU studio host
Now: UFC commentator for FS1

Austin Ward

Then: Big Ten reporter
Now: Ohio State beat reporter for Land of 10

Jesse Temple

Then: Big Ten reporter
Now: University of Wisconsin beat writer for Land of 10

Mark May

Then: ESPN college football analyst
Now: Contributor on 103.7 The Buzz in Central Arkansas

Len Elmore

Then: ESPN college basketball analyst
Now: College basketball analyst for FS1, CBS; on faculty at Columbia University, teaching sports management seminar (all of which he has done since before ESPN layoffs)

Brett McMurphy

Then: ESPN college football reporter
Now: Will reportedly join Stadium as a college-football reporter.

Andy Katz

Then: ESPN college basketball reporter, host, anchor
Now: college basketball reporter

Calvin Watkins

Then: Houston Rockets beat writer
Now: New York Jets beat writer for Newsday

Justin Verrier

Then: New Orleans Pelicans beat writer
Now: Senior editor at The Ringer

Marc Stein

Then: ESPN NBA reporter, columnist
Now: NBA reporter for New York Times

John Clayton

Then: ESPN NFL reporter
Now: Seattle Seahawks sideline reporter on 710 ESPN Seattle and KIRO Radio 97.3; radio host on 710 ESPN Seattle

Jean Jacques-Taylor

Then: columnist
Now: Radio host on 103.3 ESPN Dallas; reporter for; adjunct lecturer at Southern Methodist University

Mark Dominik

Then: ESPN NFL analyst
Now: Radio host on SiriusXM

Doug Glanville

Then: ESPN MLB analyst, columnist
Now: NBC Sports Chicago contributor; Lecturer at University of Pennsylvania

Dallas Braden

Then: Monday Night Baseball analyst
Now: Analyst for NBC Sports California; podcast host for Barstool Sports

Jay Crawford

Then: SportsCenter anchor
Now: Play-by-play announcer for Cleveland Browns preseason schedule; executive in residence at Bowling Green State University

Jerry Punch

Then: ESPN college football and motorsports reporter and analyst
Now: Will work Indianapolis 500 for ESPN/ABC

Dave Tuley

Then: betting analyst
Now: Betting analyst for VSiN

Erik McKinney

Then: college football recruiting reporter
Now: Writer for

Dottie Pepper

Then: ESPN golf analyst, reporter
Now: Golf analyst for CBS (where she has been since before ESPN layoffs)

Adam Caplan

Then: ESPN NFL reporter
Now: Radio host on SiriusXM; play-by-play for Philadelphia Soul

David Thorpe

Then: NBA analyst
Now: Analyst and editor for; executive director of Pro Training Center

Mike L. Goodman

Then: ESPN soccer reporter
Now: Host of Double Pivot Podcast (since before ESPN layoffs); freelance writer

Jim Caple

Then: columnist
Now: Freelance sports writer

Danny Kanell

Then: ESPN Radio host
Now: College football commentator for FS1; host on SiriusXM; CBS Sports digital contributor; host of Off the Bench with Kanell and Bell podcast

Elsewhere in media

The members of this group continue to work in media but have left sports behind, at least for now.

Jaymee Sire

Then: SportsCenter anchor
Now: Floor reporter on Food Network’s Iron Chef, food blogger

Reese Waters

Then: SportsCenter correspondent
Now: Host of Get Up DC! on WUSA9

Britt McHenry

Then: Correspondent on SportsCenter, other ESPN shows
Now: Host and reporter at The Federalist; host of Like it or Not on Fox 5 in Washington D.C.

Jeremy Crabtree

Then: college football writer
Now: Digital media manager for KMBC in Kansas City

Other job in sports

These former ESPN contributors have left media, but hung around in sports one way or another.

Tom Farrey

Then: Investigative reporter, Outside the Lines contributor
Now: Executive director of sports and social program at Aspen Institute

Trent Dilfer

Then: ESPN NFL analyst
Now: Elite 11 head coach, host of Soul and Science on NFL Network

Merril Hoge

Then: ESPN NFL analyst
Now: Head coach, Your Call Football

Charles Arbuckle

Then: ESPNU college football analyst
Now: Executive director of the Carolinas Senior Football Showcase

Raul Ibanez

Then: Wednesday Night Baseball analyst
Now: Special adviser to Dodgers president Andrew Friedman (a role he has had since 2016)

Rufus Peabody

Then: predictive analytics expert
Now: Professional sports bettor, host of Bet the Process podcast

Josh Parcell

Then: ESPNU associate producer
Now: Program director at Accelerate Basketball

Dan Sharfin

Then: ESPN voice over artist
Now: Freelance voice over artist

Prim Siripipat

Then: ESPN anchor; ESPN Radio host
Now: Professional tennis player

Ron Jaworski

Then: ESPN NFL analyst
Now: CEO of Ron Jaworksi Golf; part-owner of Philadelphia Soul; chairman of Arena Football League executive committee (since before ESPN layoffs)

Job outside sports and media

This group has decided to go an entirely different direction, post-ESPN.

Derek Tyson

Then: ESPN SEC recruiting analyst
Now: Regional director of Trupanion pet health insurance

Chad Ford

Then: ESPN NBA Draft reporter
Now: Associate professor at BYU-Hawaii (where he has been since 2005)

Doug Padilla

Then: ESPN Dodgers beat reporter
Now: Director of media for Hangar 24 Craft Brewing

Jane McManus

Then: reporter, columnist; ESPN Radio host
Now: Columbia University adjunct professor (where she has been since before ESPN layoffs); appeared on House Hunters International and will apparently move to England

Steve Delsohn

Then: ESPN investigative reporter
Now: President of Delsohn Strategies communications and PR agency

Joe Banner

Then: ESPN NFL analyst
Now: City Year trustee

David Ching

Then: SEC reporter
Now: Writer and editor for Purdue’s College of Liberal Arts; Forbes contributing writer

Melissa Isaacson

Then: columnist
Now: Lecturer at Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism

Free agents

As best we can tell, these former ESPNers do not currently have work. Some might still be under contract at ESPN, while others have likely chosen not to work for one reason or other. A handful have not given any public indication of what they’re up to at the moment.

Ashley Fox

Then: NFL columnist
Now: “Writer. Speaker. Entrepreneur. Athlete. Mom,” per her Twitter bio

Jade McCarthy

Then: SportsCenter, NFL Live anchor
Now: Weighing next move

Henry Abbott

Then: TrueHoop founder, writer, editor
Now: “Dad, husband, reader, writer, worker,” per his LinkedIn

Roger Cossack

Then: ESPN legal analyst
Now: Unclear

Jerome Bettis

Then: Analyst on NFL Live, other shows
Now: Unclear


Ted Miller

Then: Pac-12 reporter
Now: Unclear

About Alex Putterman

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