ESPN Asks Top Commentators and Hosts to Take Voluntary Pay Cuts to Mitigate Financial Effects of COVID-19

With the Coronavirus pandemic affecting theme parks, sports, and movie theaters alike, ESPN is struggling to keep content fresh for its viewers, and in order to mitigate the financial effects of COVID-19 on the network, it is asking its top commentators to take pay cuts.

According to the Sports Business Journal, ESPN has asked its 100 most highly paid commentators to take voluntary 15% pay cuts over the next three months. It is unknown how many of the commentators have agreed to the take these pay cuts, which are meant to deter further furloughs for ESPN employees who may be in more precarious financial positions than some of the on-air commentators.

The commentators impacted include Stephen A. Smith (who makes a reported $8M per year) and Mike Greenberg (who makes a reported $6.5M per year), and game analysts like the highly-paid Alex Rodriguez and Kirk Herbstreit, whose salaries are in the seven-figure range. Employees in lower pay grades are not included in the voluntary pay reductions.

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