Much has been made over the past few days about reports emerging pertaining to ESPN’s plans to undergo massive layoffs in light of the coronavirus pandemic. Figures have now been released, and unfortunately, they are catastrophic.

Reports state that roughly 500 jobs will be affected once ESPN implements its plans. Jimmy Pitaro, the company’s chairman, sent out a memo to ESPN employees this morning, and in it he delivers the heartbreaking news:

It’s been a tough past several months for the business world, with companies just trying their best to stay afloat. This has been the new norm for nearly all industries, and clearly, sports media has taken a significant hit as well.

Pitaro also recently came out with an official statement via the company’s website:

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“For some time, ESPN has been engaged in planning for its future amidst tremendous disruption in how fans consume sports. The pandemic’s effect on ESPN clearly accelerated our thinking on all fronts. Today, as a result of these circumstances, we informed our employees that we have made the difficult decision to reduce our workforce to create a more agile, efficient organization.

We are parting ways with many exceptional teammates, all of whom have made important contributions to ESPN. These are not easy decisions, and we will work hard to make their transitions easier.

We will move forward in a manner that will allow us to continue to best serve sports fans.”

We can’t say that this comes as an absolute shock, considering how the pandemic has had an extremely adverse effect not only in the economy of the United States, but throughout the world as well. Still, it’s heart wrenching to hear that so many people will now be losing their jobs amidst one of the most uncertain periods of recent history.