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June 30, 2023

Upper Dublin-native Suzy Kolber among broadcasters ESPN lays off

Others let go by the network include NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy and 'Monday Night Football' personality Steve Young

ESPN's latest round of layoffs hit a number of the network's biggest names, including longtime "Monday Night Football" pregame host Suzy Kolber and NBA analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Jalen Rose.

The cuts were first reported Friday by the New York Post's Andrew Marchand, who said all ESPN employees received a memo about the layoffs. They had been anticipated since March, when the network signaled there would be no "sacred cows" spared in an effort to reduce costs.

Kolber, a graduate of Upper Dublin High School in Montgomery County, has been in broadcasting for 38 years and spent the last 27 years at ESPN, primarily covering the NFL. She was inducted into the Philadelphia Sports Hall of Fame in 2019.

In a tweet about the layoff, Kolber said the move was "heartbreaking" but added that she's grateful for the longevity of her career as a woman in sports media. She hinted that her next project will allow her to "give back" in some capacity.

ESPN, owned by Disney, has been clearing personalities with high salaries in recent years in order to focus on contract renewals for rising talent. The contracts of those laid off reportedly will be paid in full.

"This is an extremely challenging process, involving individuals who have had tremendous impact on our company," ESPN wrote in its memo, which was obtained by the Washington Post. "These difficult decisions, based more on overall efficiency than merit, will help us meet our financial targets and ensure future growth.”

Others included in the layoffs are Hall of Fame quarterback Steve Young, another mainstay on "Monday Night Football," NFL Draft expert Todd McShay, SportsCenter's Ashley Brewer and Neil Everette and the personalities Max Kellerman, Keyshawn Johnson and Matt Hasselback.

Disney's push to slash payroll at ESPN comes as the network tries to transition to a streaming-heavy future. Dwindling cable subscribers over the last several years have led to 1,000 job cuts at ESPN since 2015, including past layoff rounds that included the departures of notable figures like Trey Wingo, Jemele Hill, Dan Le Batard and Kenny Mayne.