EXCLUSIVE: Joe Arrigo and Patrick O’Neal Break Silence On ESPN Layoffs
It’s a dark day at ESPN today, as the “World Wide Leader in Sports” is laying off around 100 people, according to mutiple reports.
The network put out a statement saying, in part, that “given how fans’ habits are changing, our focus continues to be providing high-quality, distinctive content at any minute of the day on any screen.”
While we’ve reached out to numerous ESPN media personalities for comment on the situation, most have responded with, “I can’t comment” or “It’s probably not a good idea that I get involved.”
That all changed, though, as Joe Arrigo from ESPN Las Vegas broke his silence exclusively to us.
“It’s extremely unfortunate that ESPN is letting go of so many talented individuals,” Arrigo shared, “some of which are people I grew up watching. That transition is not surprising to me though since ESPN had failed to adapt to the digital marketplace & overpaid for broadcasting rights.”
“While FS1 is making a strong push to become the sports leader, this not there yet,” he continued. “ESPN used to be ‘must watch’ TV for me, now I will tune into MLB Network or the NFL Network for my viewing pleasure and occasionally tune into ESPN for SportsCenter.”
“ESPN has to rebuild their image publicly,” Arrigo added. “They need to go back to basics and what is and was successful for them as well as usher themselves into the new era of broadcasting and embrace the digital marketplace.”
“I know a few people at ESPN and they will be in my thoughts and prayers over the next few weeks,” Arrigo wrapped wtih saying. “Losing a job you love and are so good at sucks & is life changing.”
We also spoke to Patrick O’Neal of Fox Sports West, who exclusively shared that it’s “probably not a good idea for me to comment…especially on ESPN.”
O’Neal added that, “I will say, I feel very fortunate to have a job in this business, doing what I love.”
When anyone loses their job it’s a very unfortunate situation. We wish everybody impacted by the decisions today the best in finding their new path in the sports media.