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Some ESPN employees reportedly frustrated with Pat McAfee’s huge new contract ahead of planned layoffs

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Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

There are reportedly some current and soon-to-be former ESPN employees that are not at all happy that former NFL player turned YouTube star Pat McAfee was given a massive contract by the network despite plans for another round of job cuts in the coming weeks.

ESPN is one of the most powerful sports networks on the planet. However, they are not exempt from the hits that the media and entertainment industry has endured over the last year. Many reporters around the media industry have been the victims of job cuts as the news business goes through another major shift.

Related: Pat McAfee Show heads to ESPN in multi-million dollar agreement

In April, ESPN’s parent company Disney revealed plans to cut over $5 billion in operating costs with 7,000 job cuts across the various companies they own. ESPN had avoided major layoffs in recent years, however, they were expected to be hit hard this time around.

Earlier this month, the first round of layoffs occurred and more are expected in the coming weeks. Yet, current employees that have already been informed about being let go and others that fear they are next were not happy with a recent move by the network.

Last week, ESPN announced a massive, multi-platform and show deal with popular podcast host Pat McAfee. The deal is for multiple years at a reported rate of $10 million annually. While the move was understandable for the network, for current employees it has not been well received.

espn, pat mcafee
Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

On Wednesday, Front Office Sports reported that while McAfee himself isn’t the source of frustration for some at ESPN, his contract was described by one former employee as “your ex getting engaged a month after the breakup.”

Another source told the outlet that many are bewildered by the eight-figure yearly deals for on-air talent like Pat McAfee, Stephen A. Smith, Troy Aikman, and Joe Buck, while workers in the trenches are losing opportunities at the network. However, there is also a belief that those fired are just victims of poor decisions by the former Disney CEO.

“There’s also resentment toward parent Disney, which owns 80% of ESPN. Some ESPN employees believe they’re being forced to pay for strategic mistakes made by ex-Disney CEO Bob Chapek 3,000 miles away in Burbank,” the outlet reported.

The next round of cuts is expected to go after behind-the-camera talent, however, on-air personalities could be in the cutback crosshairs this summer.