Last Friday, the WWE sent shockwaves through the world of professional wrestling and entertainment by announcing the termination of over 100 employees. While the news was met with surprise by some, it was anticipated by many, especially in the wake of the colossal merger between WWE and the UFC, which had cast a shadow of uncertainty over the future of several departments within the company. What became evident was that the fallout from these layoffs did not affect all areas of the company equally, and certain divisions bore the brunt of this massive restructuring.
One of the hardest-hit segments within WWE was the realm of podcasting, where a number of talented individuals found themselves abruptly without a platform. The WWE Network, a cornerstone of the company’s digital presence, also took a severe hit, leaving fans and industry insiders questioning the future of this streaming service. But perhaps the most startling revelation came in the form of the decimation of the analytics department.
Dave Meltzer, a renowned figure in the world of professional wrestling journalism, provided some insights into the gravity of the situation on his Wrestling Observer Radio show. He disclosed that the analytics department had been drastically downsized, with the workforce shrinking from 20 employees to a mere trio in the span of a week. This was a clear indicator of WWE’s strategic shift in its approach to data analysis and marketing.
The reasoning behind these mass layoffs appeared to be intricately tied to the recent merger with the UFC. WWE and UFC, while maintaining separate negotiations for media rights, had identified a plethora of redundancies within their respective organizations. It was a logical step to consolidate certain departments, such as analytics and marketing, as it made fiscal sense and streamlined their operations.
“Over 100 layoffs on Friday. They gutted divisions, it was basically analytics, marketing, and I guess the idea is UFC already has those departments, and they can handle both. So those were two of the departments really hard hit.”
The merger of WWE and UFC was undoubtedly a seismic event in the world of sports entertainment. While both entities continue to function independently in many aspects, they are actively exploring ways to pool their resources and expertise in areas where overlap occurs. The mass layoffs served as a stark reminder that the business landscape is continually evolving, and even giants like WWE must adapt to ensure their long-term viability in an ever-changing industry.