Longtime WWE employee and ring announcer Tony Chimel has reportedly been released by the company. According to a report from PW Insider, WWE has released as many as 10-15 employees today including Chimel. The exact number of releases is not known, however. The releases are said to be mostly logistical and behind the scenes staff.
Tony Chimel had been with the company for nearly 30 years, having started in 1991. He was originally hired to work backstage but eventually became a full-time ring announcer as well. He became the first-ever announcer for the Smackdown brand upon the show’s debut. In recent years, Chimel had been working to supervise the ring crew as well as a production manager.
Additionally, one other notable name was released by WWE today. The Director of Venue Merchandise and Remote Operations, Derek Casselman, was also let go. As with Chimel, Casselman had been with the company since the early 1990s.
WWE‘s layoffs today come on the heels of the company announcing strong profits for the 3rd quarter of 2020. The company reported total revenue for the period at $221.6 million, an increase of 19%, or $35 million.
“Our third quarter financial performance was strong and reflected our ongoing creativity in a challenging environment,” said Vince McMahon, WWE Chairman & CEO. “We continue to adapt our business, as demonstrated by the creation of WWE ThunderDome, focusing on increasing audience interaction and engagement to support the value of our content globally.”