According to Front Office Sports, staffers at The Worldwide Leader in Sports were very displeased to learn that the Walt Disney Co. was set to hire the popular show host given that there are thousands waiting to learn their fates as there are still many layoffs to come.
Disney CEO Bob Iger delivered a mandate that should see a total of 7,000 people lose their jobs. So McAfee coming in at such a time, while reportedly poised to make eight figures, has not gone down well. And it’s certainly understandable.
“Too soon was the reaction I got from a few friends. Some that were let go are still working there until June,” a former ESPN staffer told the aforementioned publication. “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.”
Former “Stump the Schwab” host Howie Schwab claims to have been told by ex-colleagues that they are paying attention to the increasing salary gap between some of the bigger names at ESPN.
“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,” Schwab explained. “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.”
This month’s layoffs are expected to consist of off-camera employees and highly-paid executives while the summer cuts should include on-air television and radio talent.
It appears McAfee could be heading into a hostile environment, but he’s definitely not the one to blame.
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