Dish layoffs affect more than 500 in Colorado

Dish Network is laying off more employees this week, the company confirmed.

While it doesn’t disclose exact numbers, a spokesperson said that more than 500 employees in Colorado are affected.

“Like most businesses, we continually evaluate and make adjustments to ensure we’re set up for long-term success,” Dish said in a statement, which was identical to one earlier this year when the company said it was moving remote retail wireless positions to the Denver area.

“We made the difficult decision to part ways with some team members due to changing business demands on some teams,” this week’s statement said. “Impacted employees will be notified by the end of the week.”

The company didn't say how many people in wireless divisions were affected, but the cuts appear to be across the board. 

Reports of layoffs at Dish have surfaced at various times during 2023, leading one former employee to surmise that the layoffs are staggered to avoid having to publicly report them.

The Dish spokesperson today said when there is a reduction, Dish follows all state and federal guidelines and a WARN notice was filed with the Colorado Department of Labor and both the Englewood and Littleton mayor offices. Dish is headquartered in Englewood, Colorado.

Earlier this week, Dish reported Q3 financial results that analysts at MoffettNathanson described as shockingly bad even for a long-time skeptic. Dish lost about 225,000 retail wireless subscribers in Q3 on top of prior quarterly losses, closing the quarter with 7.5 million wireless subscribers.

After Monday’s Q3 call, shares of Dish tumbled 37.4%, closing at a 25-year low. Over the past year, Dish shares have lost about 75% of their value.

“Let’s be clear. The overwhelming probability here has always been that Dish would enter bankruptcy sometime in the next few years. Today’s results likely accelerate that,” wrote analyst Craig Moffett in a report on Monday.  

On the quarterly earnings call, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen was asked about Dish’s intentions to buy 800 MHz spectrum from T-Mobile. Dish recently put down $100 million toward the $3.6 billion purchase price, giving it another six months to come up with the money to buy it.

Ergen said there are unique capabilities with the 800 MHz spectrum and Dish already has invested probably more than $1 billion to support that in radios. It’s lower-band spectrum that would help it compete in the marketplace.  

But Moffett has doubts. “Dish has no money. They have more spectrum than they know what to do with. Among their many problems – their Boost prepaid business is floundering; their Boost postpaid launch is stillborn; their satellite TV business is in free fall; their streaming video service is imploding; free cash flow is already negative and is falling fast – there is no one, and we mean no one, who thinks that more low-band spectrum is the answer. To ANY question,” Moffett wrote.

EchoStar transaction

Dish has said it expects the merger with EchoStar will be completed before the end of this year, at which time Dish will become a subsidiary of EchoStar. When it was first announced, the deal was largely seen as a way for Dish to get access to about $1.9 billion of EchoStar cash.  

Dish CEO Erik Carlson was supposed to depart when the EchoStar deal closes, but he informed Dish on November 3 that his last day will be November 12, which added to investor concerns. The company said Carlson is not resigning due to any disagreement with the board of directors or management of Dish.

Hamid Akhavan, the current CEO of EchoStar, will serve the additional post of president and CEO of Dish Network effective November 13.