Latest Fox Sports shake-up eliminates writing jobs

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Fox Sports is eliminating several writing positions in order to place more emphasis on the production of sharable video content.

Fox Sports is eliminating several writing and editing positions in a shift to produce more video content.

Sources have confirmed a Bloomberg report that about 20 writing and editing positions are being done away with and will be replaced by digital video jobs, ranging from production and editing to promotion.

“We will be shifting our resources and business model away from written content and instead focus on our fans’ growing appetite for premium video across all platforms,” Jamie Horowitz, president of Fox Sports National Network, wrote in a memo sent to employees Monday morning and obtained by Philly.com.

“Gone are the days of uploading content to a hub and hoping an audience seeks it out,” Horowitz added. “We will be taking a proactive approach to distributing our content to sports fans on their preferred platforms.”

Soccer writer Caitlin Murray and NFL writer Cameron DaSilva both announced they were among those who lost their jobs as a result of the network’s new direction.

So far, there’s no word on which other writers have lost their jobs because of the eliminations. Sports Illustrated media writer Richard Deitsch lamented the loss of more writing jobs, especially at a company such as 21st Century Fox, which like ESPN (owned by Disney) has considerable financial resources and “could really support great reporters/writers.”

Horowitz, who joined Fox Sports in 2015, hasn’t been shy about making big changes to the network. He quickly shifted the network’s lineup to place more emphasis on opinion, creating shows for former ESPN personalities Colin Cowherd, Skip Bayless and Jason Whitlock. The moves also resulted in cutbacks to the network’s television news operations and the elimination of updates during its shows.

Earlier this year, Horowitz canceled the network’s highlights show Fox Sports Live with Jay & Dan with no apparently replacement, though rumors persists that the network has big plans for Garbage Time host Katie Nolan, who has said in the past she’d prefer to host a nightly show. After expressing her frustration at her idle time back in May, Nolan recently shared an image of an unspecified shoot involving former Cowboys quarterback Roger Staubach and his wife, Marianne.

Recently, the network announced it was launching a new morning show hosted by Hall of Fame wide receiver Cris Carter and sports radio talker Nick Wright. The show, which will act as a lead-in to the Skip Bayless- and Shannon Sharpe-hosted Undisputed, will air weekdays from 6 to 9:30 a.m and debut on Sept. 5, two days before the start of the NFL season.

The job eliminations at Fox Sports come a few months after ESPN let go about 100 on-air personalities in a round of layoffs aimed at easing some of the budgetary pressure created by expensive league contracts and the loss of cable subscribers to cord cutting.