Sports Illustrated publisher faces mass staff layoffs, according to union

An issue of Sports Illustrated is displayed on a newsstand, Tuesday, May 28, 2019 in New York. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

“Sports Illustrated Faces Uncertain Future After Layoffs

The sports journalism world was rocked on Friday as the publisher of Sports Illustrated made the difficult decision to lay off most, if not all, of its guild-represented staff. The future of the iconic magazine and website is now hanging in the balance, leaving many in the industry wondering what’s next for this beloved brand.

Unfortunate Circumstances

In a memo sent to staff and viewed by CNN, the magazine’s publisher cited financial troubles as the reason for the layoffs. Authentic Brands Group, which has owned Sports Illustrated since 2019, sold the publishing rights to Arena Group. However, a recent missed payment for those publishing rights led ABG to revoke them, adding to the magazine’s already challenging financial situation.

The Impact of the Layoffs

The union representing the laid-off employees expressed deep concern over the future of Sports Illustrated, urging ABG to ensure the continued publication of the magazine. The union also emphasized the importance of treating all employees fairly, calling for the company to honor its union contract and protect the value that the workers bring to the company.

Uncertain Times Ahead

This recent wave of layoffs is just the latest in a series of challenges that Sports Illustrated has faced in the last few years. The firing of CEO Ross Levinsohn in December following a scandal involving fake author names and profile photos generated by artificial intelligence has only added to the turmoil. With interim chief executive Manoj Bhargava now at the helm, the future of the iconic publication remains uncertain.

Looking Ahead

The future of Sports Illustrated is now in question, and the entire sports journalism community is watching closely. As the industry continues to evolve, it’s crucial for stakeholders to prioritize journalistic integrity and the fair treatment of employees. In these uncertain times, the fate of Sports Illustrated serves as a reminder of the challenges facing traditional media in the digital age.

In conclusion, the story of Sports Illustrated’s uncertain future is a sobering reminder of the ever-changing nature of journalism. As the industry continues to adapt to new technologies and business models, it’s vital to prioritize the values of integrity and fairness. The fate of Sports Illustrated is a reflection of the broader challenges facing traditional media, and it serves as a call to action for all stakeholders to uphold these values in the face of uncertainty.”



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