The Internet Comes For Everybody: ESPN Layoffs Result of A Changing Era

In 2004 I was an intern at my local newspaper The Record, based out of northern New Jersey. Those were challenging days for newspapers, as many people were getting used to the fact that they could get the same information in the daily paper online for free.

Newspapers weren’t getting the same advertising rates digitally that they were getting in print. Needless to say, the more people that got their news online, the more it hurt the bottom lines of papers like The Record. Fast forward 13 years later and television companies, notably ESPN in this case, are finding out what newspapers saw coming more than a decade ago: Just as the internet changed print media, it is now changing television in ways thought unimaginable just a few years ago.

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It was a Wednesday morning in April and my timeline was buzzing. ESPN was the topic of the hour because they were in the process of laying off roughly 100 people, many of them on-air talent. This was shocking to a number of people as we are not accustomed to seeing faces we recognize on television suddenly being gone in an instant. Though it should be noted this isn’t the first time layoffs of this kind took place at the sports network. ESPN laid off 300 people in a cost cutting move mostly behind the camera in 2015.

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Getting A Seat at the Table

As we move through the last week of July and trudge through the dog days of summer, it’s worth remembering that the looming shadow just beyond the horizon, is our national reminder that football season is coming. Training camps began their annual commencement this past weekend, and a deluge of journalists will be there to report every touchdown, failed snap, and pick-six that takes place. One of those journalists is getting some much deserved shine.

Josina Anderson is a well respected journalist who has covered a multitude of sports over the years, but is probably best known for her NFL coverage. She’s be stationed at training camps, given live reports from the field, and as black woman, has stood out in an industry that has long been dominated by men.

So that’s why it was good to see her not in the field this time, or outside some training facility, but with a prominent seat (literally) during a recent discussion on Raiders QB Derek Carr. We don’t often see women — especially black women — with seats at the table when discussing sports, so it was certainly refreshing to see this. Much props, Josina. See you on Sundays this fall.

http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=espn:13269609

After A 20 Year Hiatus Arsenio Hall is Back

Arsenio Hall made his triumphant return back to late night television this month and the initial results have been promising.

In its first full week on the air, “The Arsenio Hall Show” won the coveted 18-49 TV demographic, which is certainly a good sign. Arsenio has had on a number of well known entertainers and musical guests ranging the gamut from Chris Tucker, to Magic Johnson, to Angela Basset and Kendrick Lamar. I only got see the first show, but I enjoyed it.
I will say this however. If anyone from “The Arsenio Hall Show” happens to be reading this (and just in case you are, I’d love to come visit Los Angeles) it’s not a good look to have ads literally in the middle of a show. As a matter of fact, while ads are common on internet streams and on podcasts (Hello, ESPN) I have never seen ads in the middle of a live show. It just seems jarring, which is why I took a photo of it. Also, it just had to be McDonalds? Maybe it’s just my television that saw this, or perhaps others saw it as well, but please, no more ads in the middle of interviews.