By Sam Bush

Jayson Stark, who had been at ESPN since 2000 after writing at the Inky for almost 20 years, said on Twitter that they had been among the cuts at ESPN.

Former NFL quarterback Trent Dilfer was among the dozens of recognizable personalities laid off yesterday as ESPN underwent a round of cuts that hit several high-profile contributors.

“A necessary component of managing change involves constantly evaluating how we best utilize all of our resources, and that sometimes involves difficult decisions,” ESPN President John Skipper said in a memo to ESPN staffers. “. . . These decisions impact talented people who have done great work for our company. I would like to thank all of them for their efforts and their many contributions to ESPN.”

The cuts were expected to number around 100 as ESPN deals with a decline in subscribers amidst paying billions per year in rights fees for professional and college sports. Disney’s cable networks division had an 11% drop in operating income driven by a decline in ad and subscriber revenue at ESPN, Disney announced in its most recent quarterly report in February.

Ed Werder, a Dallas-based NFL reporter who had been at the network since 1998, was among the first staffers to announce via Twitter that he’d been laid off. Dilfer said he also had been laid off.

Dilfer joined ESPN in 2008 after a 14-year NFL career that included winning a Super Bowl title with the Baltimore Ravens. He was one of ESPN’s most high-profile NFL analysts, working on NFL Live, NFL PrimeTime and SportsCenter.

Three longtime NHL reporters (Scott Burnside, Pierre LeBrun and Joe McDonald) confirmed on Twitter they had been let go.

ESPN’s college ranks also were hit hard as the network laid off several journalists focused on the sport, including Brett McMurphy, Jeremy Crabtree and Danny Kanell, who also had a daily ESPN radio show.

Host Jay Crawford, who joined ESPN in 2003, also announced his departure on Twitter.

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