ESPN Reviews in Bristol, CT | Glassdoor

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ESPN Bristol Reviews

Updated November 27, 2017
58 reviews

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Bristol, CT

3.0
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ESPN President John Skipper
John Skipper
17 Ratings

58 Employee Reviews

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Pros
Cons
  • some lack of flexibility as it relates to work/life balance (in 36 reviews)

  • Some events require working long hours (in 26 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. Helpful (3)

    "Be realistic"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Associate Preditor in Bristol, CT
    Former Employee - Associate Preditor in Bristol, CT
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at ESPN full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    You're working at the World Wide Leader. If you're hourly on the studio or dot com side, the opportunities for OT and holiday pay are plentiful. You can meet your sports heroes. End-of-year bonus. 401k company match. Free Disney passes, and discounts at the hotels. On-site gym and cafeteria. You have the opportunity to learn a lot if you are proactive.

    Cons

    Review process is convoluted-- you're expected to write goals regarding things that you have no control over (like assignments) and then held to them. You have zero control over the direction of your career (they put you on the track that they want you, not necessarily where your strengths/interests lie). It's hard to get promoted if you aren't friends with management. People who do go out of their way to learn new skills are put in positions to use them with more responsibility but management is shocked when you also ask for more pay or a promotion. In studio production positions it's really hard to get holidays or weekends off. Having seniority no longer means anything. Perception is more important than reality.

    Advice to Management

    Try to remember what it was like before you became a manager. The effort the lower level people put in compared to how they are treated is shameful. One day someone is advocating for better treatment, then they get promoted to a management position and suddenly they're doing what they were complaining about in the first place. Clear, actionable feedback is key-- telling someone they don't seem "excited" even though their work product is impeccable isn't actionable.


  2. Helpful (2)

    "An honest review of working at ESPN"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - I Actually Cared, But You Did Not in Bristol, CT
    Former Employee - I Actually Cared, But You Did Not in Bristol, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ESPN full-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    There are numerous benefits and I miss working there as I grew in my profession and had the opportunity learn every day.

    Cons

    Favoritism runs rampant. There are people there who only given opportunities to excel as long as two things happen; you consistently agree with their decision and consider that person infallible. If you do not agree with these two points, you quickly fall behind.

    Advice to Management

    Hiring should be based on the best-qualified person available, not your friend from the college. Yearly evaluations are not the only time honest feedback should be given, then if an unsuspecting review happens that person is not left dismayed and disheartened. Begin a culture of continuous constructive and/or positive feedback when applicable. If a person has done something wrong or made a mistake, have the conversation quickly and privately and move on.

  3. "Employment and the future"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bristol, CT
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Bristol, CT
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ESPN full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Close to home and sports/broadcast opportunities

    Cons

    DISNEY cutting budgets and people.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Solid place to work... Be prepared for Bristol, CT"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Production Assistant in Bristol, CT
    Former Employee - Production Assistant in Bristol, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at ESPN full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    - Tremendous experience... You get opportunities to do different things and acquire different skills.
    - You share a lot in common with your co-workers so you'll naturally build friendships
    - Variety level of egos you will deal with. This is a positive. You'll get to learn with people that think extremely highly of themselves and you'll learn with very down to earth people.
    - Top notch equipment, studios, technology
    - A rare media company that can literally do anything it puts its mind to
    - Try to experience everything possible. The natural thing to do is to stick on one specific path (especially if it's working out for you). But it's extremely uncommon where one media company has a campus where: TV, radio, print, digital, business, etc is all located in one place. Treat this like college in a way. Try to experience as many things as you're allowed to.
    - Pay is fine if you make your living in central Connecticut. I was personally able to make ends meet being part time for a couple years.

    Cons

    - If you want something to do outside of work, it might be tough. Bristol is a pretty limited town and unless you're from a small town, it can get boring. Couple decent towns surround Bristol, but be ready to hate Bristol. The state itself is dying and many businesses HQ'd there have left. Hartford isn't all that special.
    - Due to where ESPN is located, it is common that your social life is connected to work. So when you're at work, you obviously think about work. When you're outside of work, you likely will be talking about work. Once again, this is a Bristol problem. Make sure you find your escape from work someway, somehow.
    - TONS of gossip. Don't get trapped in that environment. You just don't know who will start opening their mouth.
    - The management typically are 15+ years ESPN lifers. So the managers are very pro ESPN. The other issue with this is if you start on the ground floor, in all likelihood, those managers last did what you did 10+ years ago. Things change, so it can be a weird relationship since they're trying to give you guidance on something they know very little about.
    - Upward mobility can be tough. If you consistently good work, you'll probably eventually get promoted. But it's a major company so politics will play a part in promotions. Don't let it get you down.
    - Figure out who the people you can't trust right away. If you find out too late, it might be too late for you.

    Advice to Management

    - Less "Do As I Do, Not As I Say."
    - Be there for your employees. ESPN has a philosophy that "the employee has control over his/her destiny." This is maybe 25% true. Of course you need to work hard and produce quality work... But apart from that, managers need to be there for employees. And I'm not even talking about more important stuff. Don't hide.
    - Gossip less please... I shouldn't be hearing you describe other managers in language I can't use on-air. Sets a bad example for your employees.
    - Stand up to talent... I shouldn't have witnessed some of the things I witnessed because you grew up idolizing a talent who you work with now and were afraid to do what was right.


  5. "manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Bristol, CT
    Current Employee - Operations Manager in Bristol, CT

    I have been working at ESPN full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    good moving package and decent benefits

    Cons

    work is highly stressful and isn't equally distributed

    Advice to Management

    consistency


  6. "Great short-term career move"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Business Technology Analyst in Bristol, CT
    Former Employee - Business Technology Analyst in Bristol, CT
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at ESPN full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    Really wonderful people to work for, lots of excitement, fair pay.

    Cons

    Project employees receive minimum benefits (no sick time, no vacation, no student reimbursement), ESPN has been laying off employees around the fall since 2013 which causes moral to drop.

    Advice to Management

    Convert more project employees within the first 2 years. There is no reason employees should work on a year to year basis for 5 or more years.


  7. "ESPN Review"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Deputy Editor in Bristol, CT
    Current Employee - Deputy Editor in Bristol, CT
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at ESPN full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    love of sports, work with people at the top of their profession

    Cons

    struggling to find the answers to cord-cutting/getting content onto new platforms and monetizing it

  8. "Was great , but now it's a middle age company with no appreciation for how it got to where it is"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Director in Bristol, CT
    Current Employee - Senior Director in Bristol, CT
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ESPN full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Mostly good people and great technology. There is the ability to make a difference. Great Healthcare benefits and you've a Disney employee.

    Cons

    No long term memory. People are tossed even if they are going good jobs. You need to live in the middle of CT..

    Advice to Management

    Remember how you got to be so big.


  9. "Ok Company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Digital Media Director in Bristol, CT
    Current Employee - Digital Media Director in Bristol, CT
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at ESPN full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great people work in ESPN

    Cons

    Lack of vision in future


  10. Helpful (2)

    "Ok. But learn quick and get out"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Content Associate in Bristol, CT
    Former Employee - Content Associate in Bristol, CT
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at ESPN full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    An abundance of opportunity and various departments to work in. Good health benefits. Can learn a lot and make it anywhere in television.

    Cons

    Very hard to move up. Log jam in terms of production assistants. Some managers are clueless in helping. No career advancement and too political. Hours can be horrible. No work/life balance.

    Advice to Management

    Recognize the talented workers and stop the "who we like" crap. Will alienate a lot of good people that way. People are miserable.


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