ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith is wondering if he too might soon be out of a job.
As June came to a close, ESPN shocked many longtime viewers as they cut ties with a significant portion of their talent roster. The layoff included 20 of their on-air personalities, including Jalen Rose, Jeff Van Gundy, and Keyshawn Johnson, and others.
Stephen A. Smith survived the move, and has since expressed his reactions following the unfortunate news. “ESPN just the other day laid off about 20 members of its on-air talent,” Smith said on The Stephen A. Smith Show earlier this week. “Friends of mine, actually, definitely respected colleagues who have done a phenomenal job and deserved better… they deserved better than the times we are living in.”
After sharing some words of gratitude towards specific colleagues, the veteran sports commentator kept it brutally honest as always, adding, “more is coming.” The layoff was a result of parent company Disney implementing cost-cutting measures.
I will miss the colleagues of mine who were let go this week dearly pic.twitter.com/lNbuDjRG8s
— Stephen A Smith (@stephenasmith) July 4, 2023
The host concluded by stating that he doesn’t even consider himself completely immune to being let go by the company. “Yes, ladies and gentleman, I could be next,” he said. “My eyes are wide open now. I’m never comfortable. I never take anything for granted, and I never assume that I am safe.”
ESPN’s official statement about the difficult decision explained that their priority is to keep costs manageable. “Given the current environment, ESPN has determined it necessary to identify some additional cost savings in the area of public-facing commentator salaries, and that process has begun,” it read. “This exercise will include a small group of job cuts in the short-term and an ongoing focus on managing costs when we negotiate individual contract renewals in the months ahead.”
Smith has built up his honorable reputation as a sports journalist by providing unfiltered commentary on shows like SportsCenter, NBA Countdown, and First Take. He also currently leads the aforementioned The Stephen A. Smith Show on ESPN Radio.
If you ask me, Stephen A. Smith isn’t at risk of going anywhere.