ESPN cuts 150 employees

ESPN cuts 150 employees
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ESPN President John Skipper announced in a Wednesday memo to employees that the sports network would be laying off 150 people. 

Skipper said the majority of the layoffs would occur in departments that involved studio production, digital content and technology. 

"We appreciate their contributions and will assist them as much as possible in this difficult moment with severance, a 2017 bonus, the continuation of health benefits and outplacement services. They will also appreciate your support," Skipper said. 

The network has struggled with how to deal with the fallout over President Trump's targeting of NFL players who choose to kneel in protest during the national anthem. "Monday Night Football" has seen consistently low ratings this season. 

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The layoffs make up less than 2 percent of the network's 8,000-strong workforce, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which says ESPN is still hiring new employees.

The announcement comes after reports surfaced earlier this month that the network would lay off more than 100 people after the Thanksgiving holidays. 

The network laid off about 300 employees two years ago and eliminated 100 jobs in April, which included on-air talent. 

The number of households carrying ESPN has declined in recent years.

The network could be seen in 100.13 million households in 2011, but that number was down to an estimated 87.5 million in 2017 as younger viewers moved away from cable to streaming services.