It's not ESPN that's dying, it's the current pay TV business model that's dying. The latest stats show that 1 in 5 households have dumped cable. The TV revenue model is based on advertising, which now commands less dollars due to smaller reach. It's very similar to what happened to the newspaper industry a decade ago.
Sports programming still offers the greatest return on television, but when switching to a digital/over the top experience, networks get barely 10% of the same ad revenues. And most sports leagues have maintained ownership rights to their digital transmissions. (The NFL and Amazon this year, et al). The networks have to cut costs and talent is where it begins.
ESPN will survive due to the exclusive rights deals on sports, but they just won't make as much. And they're banking on the viewers not caring about a 45-second update from Ed Werder, Chad Ford or Jayson Stark. The biggest impact will be on ESPN.com, as spending $40 for their insider content took the biggest hit, but that's a small revenue stream for a large company that is most likely a loss leader.