ESPN Employees Upset With Pat McAfee’s Massive Deal Amid Layoffs: REPORT

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There reportedly are some serious issues behind closed doors at ESPN after a deal was inked to bring in Pat McAfee.

ESPN has thrown a hail Mary pass to try to save the network, and threw the kitchen sink at McAfee to bring his show to the network. It will now air across ESPN platforms and also remain on YouTube for viewers.

It’s a very bold move, and it’s a sign ESPN understands something major has to happen to save the network. However, McAfee’s deal, which is said to pay him alone roughly $10 million annually, has upset some employees at the network amid financial issues and layoffs.

Disney is looking to slash $5.5 billion in costs and 7,000 jobs and ESPN is definitely getting hit. However, there’s some confusion as to how things are so tight layoffs are necessary while the company is throwing cash at McAfee.

ESPN employees reportedly are not happy about Pat McAfee’s deal. (Photo by Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for SiriusXM)

ESPN employees reportedly aren’t pleased with the Pat McAfee deal.

“Too soon was the reaction I got from a few friends. Some that were let go are still working there until June. You are coming to grips with your departure, and then you see a big money signing. It’s not anti-McAfee…it’s your ex getting engaged a month after the breakup,” a former unnamed ESPN employee told Front Office Sports.

“They’re are some people who are upset. The timing of it is curious. They’re paying Aikman, Buck, Stephen A. Smith, and McAfee. And then you’re going to lay people off? Kind of weird. Nothing against Pat McAfee. Obviously, he brings Aaron Rodgers to the table. He’s already there because he does ‘College GameDay.’ They’re looking to hit another home run. Meanwhile, their singles hitters are going to be fired,” sports researcher Howie Schwab further explained.

To put it as simply as possible, McAfee getting a bag of money while others lose their jobs isn’t an easy pill to swallow.

ESPN reached a massive deal with Pat McAfee. (Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images)

ESPN needs to change things up.

The reality of the situation is ESPN’s brand isn’t even a fraction of what it used to be. There was a time where people across America would wake up and watch the previous night’s highlights first thing in the morning.

Then, ESPN went woke, people cut the cord and now, it seems the only stuff guaranteed to draw an audience on the network are live sporting events.

ESPN chairman Jimmy Pitaro and Disney had to make a drastic move, and that move was to sign arguably the biggest name in sports media.

If McAfee’s deal is for the reported $10 million annually, I’d argue he’s seriously underpaid. That’s a hell of a bargain for ESPN.

Pat McAfee’s ESPN deal reportedly has upset people behind the scenes. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

People losing their jobs is never fun, but in this case, they don’t really have anything to do with each other. ESPN can try to salvage the network with some bold decisions or it can fail and then everyone loses. McAfee coming with his show is the boldest move in recent memory. Will it work? That remains to be seen, but it does signal ESPN is taking its status very seriously.

Written by David Hookstead

David Hookstead is a reporter for OutKick covering a variety of topics with a focus on football and culture.

He also hosts of the podcast American Joyride that is accessible on Outkick where he interviews American heroes and outlines their unique stories. Before joining OutKick, Hookstead worked for the Daily Caller for seven years covering similar topics.

Hookstead is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin.


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  1. No wonder these ESPNers are getting fired, they’re to dumb to realize they’re replaceable hacks that don’t move the needle. Its not that the mouse doesn’t have they money, it’s they’re not worth the money. McAfee moves the needle so him and his show are worth the money.

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