New owners are slashing staff at Sports Illustrated
“We know it’s a strain on the entire newsroom. We know lives are at stake, so we apologize for that.”
Little-known media company theMaven, Sports Illustrated’s new manager, says the 65-year-old sports magazine is cutting more than 40 jobs out of a staff of 150.
theMaven’s spokesman, Greg Witter, said on Thursday that it will add 200 contractors to cover college and professional sports teams for the magazine.
The firm struck a licensing deal to operate Sports Illustrated with the magazine’s new owner, branding company Authentic Brands Group. Magazine publisher Meredith, Sports Illustrated’s seller, was initially supposed to run the magazine.
According to the Wall Street Journal, some employees are expected to receive notice this week that their jobs are being cut.
“We know exactly how hard this is for you guys,” said Steve Cannella, the publication’s new editor. “We know it’s a strain on the entire newsroom. We know lives are at stake, so we apologize for that.”
Several SI staffers tweeted a petition asking Meredith and Authentic Brands to drop theMaven and save the magazine, however that prospect seems exceedingly unlikely in today’s media climate.
theMaven says the meeting where layoffs were announced Thursday “was all Meredith.” Meredith says theMaven made the personnel decisions that Meredith communicated to staffers.
Authentic Brands did not reply to an Associated Press attempt to seek comment.
This story includes reporting from The Associated Press.