SBD: ESPN is shutting down its high school business, a move that will result in nearly 75 people losing their jobs across the country.— John Ourand (@Ourand_SBJ) June 13, 2012
ESPN has been dabbling in high school sports since 2008, but now comes word from John Ourand of Sports Business Journal that the worldwide leader is shutting down its high school operation. According to MaxPreps, this includes ESPNHS, two high school magazines, the organization of high school events, at Disney World and 75 people losing their jobs.
According to USA Today, ESPN will continue to air high school football games this fall and ESPNW will host high school girls basketball coverage and ESPN Recruiting Nation will cover high school recruiting.
It's more bad news of individuals losing their job in the industry, but ESPN's foray into high school athletics has never made it into the mainstream of ESPN's overall strategy. Aside from the odd event televised by ESPN, it's hard to say any significant percentage of visitors to ESPN.com or viewers of ESPN were even aware of the existence of ESPNHS or just how invested ESPN was in the high school market.