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Layoffs Coming for ESPN Deadline

ESPN has confirmed that it is expecting a round of job cuts. The company issued a statement acknowledging moves that had already surfaced in the media, Deadline.com reports.

In the statement, ESPN said: “We are implementing changes across the company to enhance our continued growth while smartly managing costs. While difficult, we are confident that it will make us more competitive, innovative and productive.”

The number of layoffs could go as high as 400, the report notes. ESPN has about 7,000 total employees.

The Deadline report notes: “If the language sounds familiar, it’s because it is: ESPN is 80% owned by Disney (Hearst owns the other 20%), which has gone division by division to cut costs over the past month or so. Layoffs have already hit the Walt Disney Studios unit (150 layoffs in film, theatrical and music departments) and shuttered LucasArts, the video game division of Disney’s newly acquired Lucasfilm.”

Disney Interactive also recently laid off about 500 staffers.

ESPN is highly profitable, but is also a big spender, the piece notes, including recent sports rights deals involving the U.S. Open tennis tournament and a network for the SEC college conference.