Dish Network has confirmed that it will cut its 16,000-member workforce amid the COVID-19-related economic slowdown.
It's unclear as to how many employees will be let go.
Even before the this latest recession, Dish, which lost 511,000 satellite TV subscribers last year, was already facing a wrenching transition. The Englewood, Colo.-based telecom company is seeking to take assets cut loose amid the $31 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, and blend them with its own sizable spectrum holdings to create a fourth major U.S. wireless company, rich in 5G services.
“The pandemic has forced us to take a closer look at every aspect of our business, at our work volumes, our areas of focus and investments, and the performance of our team members,” chief executive officer Erik Carlson told employees in an internal memo, which was was published by TheLayoff.
“I want you to hear directly from me that we’ve made a series of difficult decisions to reevaluate parts of our business, particularly within in-home services,” he added. “We are committed to entering the wireless business, bringing full, standalone 5G to America, and delivering unparalleled innovation that will benefit U.S. consumers. And we will continue to focus on enhancing and deploying Dish TV, Sling TV, Dish Media, Smart Home Services and other core products and business lines. We’ll hire for the strategic needs of today and tomorrow so that we have the Best Team, regardless of the circumstance."
Updated: Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen had pledged to spend round $10 billion to build a 5G network that covers 70% of the U.S. by 2023. The New York Post reported today that those plans could be in jeopardy, given the sudden state of the U.S. economy.
“I think whatever rosy projections Charlie had are now very questionable,” said a source who expected to be part Dish’s lending group, to the Post. “There is no financing to build a telecom network.”
Meanwhile, it’s already known that Mitch Weinraub, who led Dish’s AirTV product development team, has left the company. Light Reading, which was first to report on Weinraub’s departure, was told by Dish that the recently hired Jon Lin, who moved over from CBS Interactive, will assume Weinraub's responsibilities.
The Android TV-based AirTV product line of OTT devices debuted in 2017 as an extension of Sing TV virtual MVPD service. But it’s unclear what kind of foothold, if any, AirTV has in the competitive OTT device market.
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