Nov. 5 (Meslop) — ESPN introduced Thursday it’s going to lay off 300 workers and won’t fill about 200 open positions, marking its largest variety of job cuts in 5 years.

The sports activities community, which is owned by Disney, employs about 6,000 individuals worldwide, 4,000 of whom are in Bristol, Conn. It laid off 300 workers throughout a spherical of cuts in 2015.

“At the moment is difficult as a result of ESPN has all the time been — and can all the time be — fortified by its implausible individuals,” ESPN Chairman Jimmy Pitaro mentioned in a message to workers Thursday.

“We’ve got, nonetheless, reached an inflection level. The velocity at which change is going on requires nice urgency, and we should now ship on serving sports activities followers in a myriad of some ways.”

Pitaro mentioned COVID-19 has had a “vital impression” on ESPN operations. For the reason that begin of the pandemic, all main sports activities leagues have delayed their video games and largely eradicated fan attendance.

Pitaro mentioned the community had launched numerous cost-cutting steps earlier than the announcement, like govt and expertise wage reductions, furloughs and operational adjustments.

“We’re parting methods with some distinctive workforce members — some whom have been right here for a very long time,” Pitaro added.

“We’re very grateful for all they’ve meant to us, and I guarantee you we’re taking steps to make their transition simpler.”