ESPN, the worldwide leader, is cancelling, basically, its hockey coverage. So far Pierre LeBrun and Scott Burnside have been laid off and now it seems a bigger bomb is dropping:
So Bucci is out. Bucci has been the most popular hockey asset at ESPN and is not only a great personality but a good writer. ESPN recently bought the rights to the World Cup of Hockey so purging their Hockey writers is surprising. Maybe they didn’t get the ratings they would like? Even if they don’t, ignoring a sport, albeit a more niche sport than football, is questionable. I remember getting up and watching the highlights of the league waiting patiently for my team.
Now, with everything so readily available ESPN has had to pivot and are doing so by moving away from the “Sports” aspect of their business. It has become all talk shows and TMZ style gossip. Would I prefer the good old days when you would wake up to get the news? Actually, yes. Yes I would. Things were simpler then, you woke up, watched a minute per game, maybe 30 seconds, and were entertained. Now they show 5-10 seconds, flash the score, then talk about Lebron James’ instagram account. ESPN has been struggling and I honestly think this is why. They have gone from the go-to sports source to a sports-centered talk show.
What ESPN is doing is wrong and a bad move, they are going away form what should be their core business. What made ESPN popular is no longer available and competitors are taking that market share. NHL Network, MLB Network, NFL Network are all readily available and all actually stick to their sports.
Anyway, regardless of if ESPN is right or wrong, they are letting good hockey writers go. I’m sure they will be letting a lot of people go, an estimated 100 in total. It is a shame that they are doing so and I wish everyone luck in finding a new job or whatever their next endeavor be.
UPDATE: Bucci may not be gone