New Owners Essentially Gutted Sports Illustrated

What a mess.

So Wednesday night the Wall Street Journal reported that Sports Illustrated was headed for mass layoffs after previous owner Meredith sold SI to a new company, which licensed the publishing rights to a group called TheMaven, run by a dude named Ross Levinsohn. A brief Googling reveals that this guy was booted from the LA Times after a newsroom revolt and has a pretty poor reputation in the industry.

It’s always a bummer to see this stuff happen at media outlets, and it feels like we write about a different place being hollowed out every other week. The Inquirer just went through another round of layoffs and buyouts while smaller newspapers in this area saw a change in ownership.

Sports Illustrated is another one of those outlets that was trying to evolve digitally in a world where magazines just aren’t what they used to be. Inevitably the business model changes; it’s just a matter of whether the new people in charge actually give a shit about journalism as much as money.

The layoff tweets started coming in last night, and I see headlines out there saying “half of the staff” was let go while the WaPo is reporting a 35-40% number. Here are some of the folks who didn’t make it:

So on and so forth. Apparently they’re going to hire 200 contractors (freelancers) in the coming days/months/whatever.

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10 Responses

    1. Yeah, it’s totally the fault of the writers, not executives who didn’t adapt quickly/smartly enough to the digital revolution and then threw in the towel, ultimately leaving a blogging company in charge of a once-great brand that can’t wait to replace respected professionals with cheap/desperate labor without benefits.

  1. When I was a kid I’d fake sick when I knew the swimsuit issue was coming, so I could stay home from school and get the mail before my parents got home.

  2. Dentist waiting rooms around the country are sweating at the thought of one less magazine.

    Rest of the world… meh

  3. Sports Illustrated was a liberal piece of trash! Hopefully Crossing Broad writers start getting canned like these guys.

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