Former NFL Media employee says 132 recently have been laid off

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For several weeks, word has circulated that NFL Media, the league-owned online and broadcast conglomerate, would reduce staff. On Wednesday, one of the individuals who lost his job supplied a number.

As one of 132 NFL Media layoffs, I lost a job I loved after 14 years,” Andy Fenelon tweeted. “Not many people can say they lasted that long in the Not For Long league, but I leave with very few regrets.”

A spokesperson for NFL Media did not provide an on-the-record response to an inquiry from PFT, and there has been no public pushback regarding the accuracy of Fenelon’s number. A prior report from FrontOfficeSports.com pegged the looming layoffs at 10 percent of the workforce. Multiple sources with knowledge of the dynamics and size of the operation said that, if the league laid off 132 people, that’s most likely more than 10 percent of the total staff.

At least one of the NFL Media employees who remain has made clear his disagreement with the development. Jim Trotter, for example, tweeted last week that it’s “[r]eally sad that so many loyal employees who took mandatory & voluntary paycuts during the pandemic to help the company, & who came up with creative ways to produce content & limit $$ losses, would be fired after NFL signed $100B TV deals.”

The apparent slashing of the workforce comes at a time when the league is looking for a more established media company to buy a minority stake in the company. Trimming any and all actual or perceived fat (along with some muscle and bone) could be part of an effort to make the business more attractive to an investor.

And, ultimately, a business is what it is. Football isn’t family. They say “football is family” because it’s good for business to say, “Football is family.” Football, for the NFL, is a multi-billion-dollar enterprise that faces constant pressure to grow and grow and grow. Increase revenue, decrease costs, pump up profits. As far beyond 12.5 PSI as possible.

That’s the game, at its core. Because that’s how business works, everywhere. The specific human beings are valued only for as long as the value they bring outweighs their cost to the company. The instant that flips, they’re gone.

That applies to the rosters of the 32 teams, to the organizational charts of the 32 franchises, and the league office that oversees them all.

It also applies to the human beings who make up the various fan bases, as folks in St. Louis learned five years ago, and as the litigation arising from the departure of the Rams recently has made all too clear.

UPDATE 7/16/21: The NFL provided a statement to PFT on Thursday night regarding the layoffs. The league calls the numbers circulating on social media “wildly inaccurate,” and describes the situation as “not markedly different” from layoffs in prior offseasons.

30 responses to “Former NFL Media employee says 132 recently have been laid off

  1. Yep, not surprised the NFL is pinching pennies elsewhere. They’re gonna have a lot of explaining to do to their investors once they cut St Louis a settlement check for a few hundred million bucks.

  2. It’s called trimming the fat , why should a company retain employees just to give them a job if they are really not needed … like there isn’t other work out there …. help signs are everywhere good luck 👍

  3. Your commentary is spot on Mr. Florio.
    I would only add that in the USA it is one of the easiest and least expensive places in the world to start your own business. I’ve done it three times, all are still in operation, and had countless nights without sleep, months without pay yet in the end it has been the most rewarding experience. If you are unhappy or feel oppressed by big business; go for it!!

  4. There are two type of people, who are employees of an NFL entity. This goes for players, administration, coaches, equipment guys, trainers, media, executives etc… Those who have been fired and those that will be fired. It’s part of the deal. Good luck to all of them.

  5. Its the same at other large companies I’ve worked for.

    Good luck to the laid off workers, I hope they land on their feet.

  6. Hate to see someone lose their job when it is obviously not deserved. These things do happen in a business and as previously stated the NFL is a business……..and really nothing but a business.
    As to any settlement they better hurry. With ST Louis going back to court shortly to drag other owners out into the open it is going to get very expensive the longer they wait. Kroenke paid 645 million to the owners for moving and I am willing to bet that the value of the settlement amount will exceed that.

  7. It’s so sad/funny when people at large businesses take pay cuts to help the organization and think that will earn them gratitude in return. Unless you’re working for a place with maybe a dozen employees, it almost never happens. The owners sell to new owners, the new owners sell off the assets, and a few multi-millionaires walk away counting their money while everyone else gets a new job for less pay and fewer benefits. Yes, there are exceptions, but they are very few and far between.

  8. A lot of companies promote the “we are a family” theme, I guess to improve morale. Mine does too. But the reality is “we are a family” until the money runs out, and then we’re not.

  9. I have been laid off and I have been in a company where there were layoffs and I was kept employed. I was also once the only employee in the company with the guts to speak out against proposed layoffs. Layoffs Suck.

  10. A companies loyalty regardless of how dedicated an employee may be is only till they find a cheaper option. Everyone is expendable.

  11. They’re looking for partners to buy into the business and it’ll look more appealing the lower the expenses are. Plus many current NFL employees will be redundant once a media company comes in who already has most of the staff needed. Sad reality across media in general these days.

  12. Out of respect for laid-off employees, companies ought to make a statement acknowledging that it occurred. Pretending it did not happen is just mean.

  13. There’s always plenty of “fat” to trim at the top, and yet it never happens that way for some reason.

  14. Big businesses don’t care about employees. We are just a number to accountants and board members. It doesn’t mean that companies don’t deserve the public criticism and PR hits when they lay off people and the board gets 8 figure bonuses

  15. “Why reward loyal employees for their hard work during a global
    pandemic, when you can funnel tens of millions in bribes to social justice groups in order to have slightly less criticism of the league on Twitter?” — Roger Leadership Goodell

  16. We’ve come to accept corporation’s complete lack of integrity and fairness.

    Asking employees to take less for a period of time for the greater good of the company is a contract that both sides should honor. That corporations constantly break that contract and everyone feel “it’s just part of business” shows how bad the situation has become.

    Any employee who made that contract with them should not have been fired unless it was for cause. Just because they can do this doesn’t make it right and we should stop accepting it as just a fact of life!

  17. And yet Roger Goodell is payed over $40 million a year to run the NFL into the ground. Talk about trimming the fat, how many employees could still have their job if they cut Goodell’s salary by just a couple of million dollars.

  18. But but but everyone said the NFL is doing so great financially.
    What about that big new TV contract?

  19. NFL Media leaves a lot to be desired. Good Morning Football seems to have its fans and obviously they do RedZone well, Total Access is okay. The NFL app and website are pretty bad. MLB managed to innovate on their own with MLB Advanced Media but I guess the NFL can’t figure it out.

  20. Squeezed oranges, thanks for the juice. Now into the trash with you. Cue Jerry and the owners who negotiate the broadcast rights drinking a toast out of glassware that is more than one of those 132 salary.

  21. The whole of NFL Media feels pretty redundant, so it’s not surprising that they’re scaling back operations.

  22. Maybe they are saving for the lawsuit they are about to lose vs. the City of St. Louis. The NFL is in some real trouble with this…

  23. Top heavy on retired players and other talent, not to mention they need to can all of them and bring in some fresh talent because is has gotten really stale.

    Doubt Silent Stan settles, starting with this recent order he can spend $100 million in money he loses in the couch to pay lawyers to drag this out for a decade or more, it is sport to billionaires. The question is, is St Louis willing to match that level of spending hoping they can beat all the appeals in the end and not end up with a $1 payout.

  24. I always get a (rye) laugh when people say (and think) they took a pay cut to help the organization.
    There is maybe 5% percent of the people that ACTUALLY do it to “help the organization”, the other 95% know that after the pay cut they still make more than they’ll make on unemployment, so they suck it up.

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