Unconfirmed reports became reality when ESPN network leadership began notifying about 100 of its employees that they were being laid off on Thursday. When word hit social media, many people took to Twitter and reacted with anger, glee and virtually every other emotion there is.

The first big name that surfaced as a reported casualty of the layoffs was longtime NFL reporter Ed Werder. His name was followed by that of college basketball reporter Dana O'Neill and anchor John Buccigross before a storm of tweets were posted expressing resentment over a perceived loss of hockey coverage. The veracity of the reports was also not immediately verified.

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What could be verified, however, were the somber messages posted to Twitter by current and now-former ESPN employees, including people whose names are well known and others whose names may not immediately resonate with casual viewers.

However, there were conflicting reports that Buccigross, a popular anchor on SportsCenter, was laid off, too, adding an element of confusion into the day's employment equation.

Buccigross responded with a cryptic tweet that seemed to neither confirm nor deny his employment status at ESPN.

John Skipper, the president of ESPN, posted a public message to the networks' employees earlier Thursday that explained why the network was taking such measures.

"Dynamic change demands an increased focus on versatility and value, and as a result, we have been engaged in the challenging process of determining the talent—anchors, analysts, reporters, writers and those who handle play-by-play—necessary to meet those demands," Skipper wrote in part. "We will implement changes in our talent lineup this week."

Below is a list of notable names who were no longer employed by ESPN as of Thursday.

  • Jim Bowden, baseball analyst
  • Eamonn Brennan, college basketball reporter
  • Scott Burnside, N.H.L. columnist
  • Brendan Fitzgerald, ESPNU host
  • Mike Goodman, soccer writer
  • Paul Kuharsky, Tennessee Titans writer
  • Pierre LeBrun, hockey writer
  • Joe McDonald, hockey writer
  • Brett McMurphy, college football reporter
  • Dana O’Neil, college basketball reporter
  • Mark Saxon, baseball reporter
  • Jean-Jacques Taylor, ESPNDallas
  • Jesse Temple, Big Ten football reporter
  • Derek Tyson, SEC recruiting analyst
  • Austin Ward, Big Ten football reporter
  • Ed Werder, N.F.L. reporter

Twitter users were happy, sad, hopeful and ambivalent with ESPN's personnel moves.

Deadspin has compiled a running list of ESPN employees laid off. Read it here.