Midco Sports shifts focus to streaming, lays off TV personalities – InForum

Midco Sports, the media entity responsible for televising the athletics of the University of North Dakota, South Dakota State, and University of South Dakota, has recently laid off several employees, including well-known TV personalities. Sources have confirmed that on-air voices Brian Shawn, David Brown, Jody Norstedt, and others were informed of the move on Tuesday. The reason given for the layoffs was budget cuts.

In a statement from Paige Pearson Meyer, vice president of corporate communications at Midco Sports to Forum Communications, it was announced that plans were in place to enhance streamed content on Midco Sports Plus and university partnership content on its linear channels Midco Sports and Midco Sports Two. As a result of these changes, high school sports and some original programming will no longer be produced by Midco Sports or broadcast on their linear channels.

However, Pearson Meyer mentioned that the employees who were laid off could potentially work in a freelance capacity. Midco Sports has contracts to air UND football, hockey, men’s and women’s basketball games, SDSU and USD football, men’s and women’s basketball games as well as Augustana hockey.

The company has communicated its changes with the athletic departments of the schools they have partnerships with and assured them that the layoffs will not affect their contracts. Notable TV personalities like Bill Chaves have expressed confidence in the ongoing partnerships with UND athletic department. Brian Shawn is known as play-by-play voice for North Dakota State football before transitioning to UND while Jody Norstedt focuses on high school athletics in North Dakota.

Aside from the layoffs, Midco Sports has also televised quarterfinals and semifinals of Summit League men’s and women’s basketball tournaments over the years. While some employees were let go others like Jay Elsen and Taylor Budge were retained in their respective locations

By Samantha Johnson

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