LBS- Werder was one of many ESPN reporters who learned last week that he was losing his job. The longtime reporter joined “The Doomsday Podcast” for an interview and said that ESPN added insult to injury by asking him to cover the draft by reporting from New Orleans the next day.
“When they finished telling me I was laid off, they said this was effective immediately,” Werder said on the podcast, via Business Insider. “And the next thing they told me to do as a former employee of ESPN was stay and cover the Saints’ draft, which seemed like an odd way to begin your unemployment.
“But it seemed like it was my option, and I chose not to. I just didn’t feel like it was the right place for me to be, alone in a hotel room and then out in public as a former employee, representing ESPN with the New Orleans Saints.”
There are people that don't understand why ESPN was forced to lay off over a hundred talented and well respected journalists. Maybe the business side of things is foreign to them and they don't realize that the 'Worldwide Leader' was handing out multi-million dollar contracts like they were free off-brand condoms on a college campus while their subscribers were cutting cords quicker than birth doctors. I don't know. It seems like a pretty simple concept to grasp, but it still has some questioning the ethics of a multi-billion dollar operation that is the predominant source for sports news (but mostly nonsense).
Those people should let this Ed Werder anecdote serve as a lesson, because asking a recently fired employee of damn near two decades to do offsite reporting immediately after giving him the boot is an example of that lack of self awareness that got them into this mess. Long story short, ESPN got too big for their britches. They are the multi-national equivalent of the husband who walks into a messy house, plops down on the couch, undoes his belt, unbuttons his jeans, patiently waits for his wife to get home from her full-time job to fetch him a beer, and sees absolutely nothing wrong with that series of events. Asking an unemployed Ed Werder to head down to New Orleans to report on the least newsworthy sporting event of the year out of fictitious good faith is like an ex-girlfriend breaking up with her saint of a boyfriend only to ask him for a lift to her former sidepiece's apartment. It's a preposterously disrespectful move that's completely ignorant towards all social cues.
In essence, it's something that shouldn't be all that surprising coming from a brand that went all in on cable with the demise of cable staring them in the face. ESPN is going to be just fine, but maybe the events of the last few weeks can serve as a painful reminder that they should put some thought into their actions since we are all supposedly living in the same mutually beneficial society.