Last week was a devastating one first and foremost of journalists and their families, as ESPN had sweeping layoffs that affected their entire on air and online team. ESPN has, despite any criticism, always had among the best writers for every individual sport, and it is both my hope and belief that we see all of those laid off return to work as soon as they want.
Most of the sports’ coverage teams were made leaner by the cuts. The NHL team at ESPN was obliterated. Let Dan Steinberg from the Washington Post tell you what’s left.
There’s the well-respected Craig Custance, and Corey Pronman at ESPN Insider. There’s Barry Melrose in studio, some interested studio hosts, and not all that much more.
That’s America’s primary sports network, and all they have left is two authors and Barry Melrose, who rocks, but mostly speaks in short blurbs during Sports Center during the playoffs. By contrast, here is the media dedicated to covering the Arizona Coyotes, who I think we can universally agree is the sorriest of all the teams in the NHL outside of the ESPN tent.
- The hard working and excellent Sarah McLellan at the Arizona Republic.
- Craig Morgan is tasked with other coverages, but he spends a great deal of his time covering the Coyotes for Arizona Sports at 98.7
- I think we can all agree at this point that SBNation is credible media, right? Well, Five for Howling, I would say, one of the better SBNation blogs out there. I’ll name Sarah Hall, as she is the managing editor, with the understanding that there is an entire team there that outnumbers what ESPN now offers.
- The most obvious media members that are tied to the Coyotes are Matt McConnell, Tyson Nash, Todd Walsh, Bob Heethuis, Nick Boynton and Luke Lapinski, the TV and Radio hosts, commentators and analysts.
That’s 9 people I mentioned by name, and I’m not even close to sure I got everyone. ESPN is in a bad spot, financially, that much is sure, but the nature of their cuts should put to rest any debate whether or not ESPN cares about the NHL. They do not.
Good luck getting back to work, everyone currently seeking it.