This was posted by a former ESPN employee and just as i suspected John Skipper isn't viewed favorably by ESPN employees on SI.com
As someone who was in Bristol from 1983 to 2014, I can say with fact and conviction that Mike Tirico is one of the best people who has every graced the Campus. Universally liked, he is well regarded by the folks behind the camera, who as Richard always says are the people who really drive the bus and make the difference. This is a great long term move for Mike, as the NBC portfolio is strong, and the need for the post Costas/Michaels era is apparent. I can imagine that the pay is a dramatic increase as well. I would guess that another big factor was the fact that ESPN is really no longer ESPN.
What is going on in Bristol has been in motion for years. The dramatic culture change that you are seeing in front of the camera, as well as the foundation to the core, raises many questions. Social and political agendas run the place now, and the evolution of a paradigm that makes little sense to those of us that have been around the Industry during the this Golden era of Sports TV.
Many of us respect people such as Jessica Mendoza, who have an amazing work ethic and desire to perform, but are put in the crosshairs of an internal political battle. Jess is EXCEPTIONALLY well liked. It's grossly unfair that her growing pains as a broadcaster are a bullseye for critics (see: WEEI morning show), simply because she was thrust in the spotlight MUCH too quickly, simply as a social agenda ploy. I recall Tino Martinez being hired by the YES network a decade ago, and he couldn't put a sentence together. That experiment ended after about 5 games. It just didnt work. Mendoza is trying so hard, that its getting more and more uncomfortable, and the SNB production crew KNOWS it. It doesn't matter at this point, because Norby and Skip aren't going to make a change. That stubbornness kills the product. If you sat down with Ed Durso or Chuck Pagano over lunch, they'd tell you the same thing.
Bill Rasmussen didn't draw it up this way back in the day. Being innovative isn't an excuse to push the social agenda of a certain group. It's a shame that long time talent like Tony Kornheiser and Kenny Mayne can make crude and unfortunate political comments about Conservatives, or Michelle Beadle trolling on Twitter routinely, while Curt Schilling was targeted and had his quotes manipulated my a left leaning management team. While Schilling should have put his family's welfare ahead of his insatiable need for attention on social media and broadcast outlets, it's the opinion of many that if he had taken shots at Trump or the Conservative political side, he'd still be employed.
I think Tirico saw a lot of this, and went for greener pastures.
Also to piggyback off @lamontbdc alot of people are getting rid of cable and it's hurting ESPN revenue. Include the amount of money they are paying for exclusive rights for NFL NBA and CFB and they are losing money.
And they have taken some bad PR hits withing the last year. I'm not an industry insider but I believe the new CEO President of ESPN John Skipper isn't viewed favorably among employees and former ESPN employees.
They let go of almost 200 producers who had been there since the 90's and the back and forth between Skipper and Bill Simmons left a poor taste among viewers.
Also, the network purposely lied about the deflate gate and issued an apology at midnight when nobody is watching.