Bad time to work for Sports Illustrated.
Back in October, there was a massive round of layoffs after previous owner Meredith decided to sell to a new company, which licensed the publishing rights to a group called TheMaven. Nearly half of the staff was let go.
Fast forward five months, and more cuts are taking place, via Sara Fischer at Axios:
Just announced: Maven Media, which owns Sports Illustrated, TheStreet, says it will implement a "broad cost-containment initiative," including a 9% staff layoff. (6% of the editorial department of Sports Illustrated.) Says it's anticipating $30 million revenue loss for 2020
— Sara Fischer (@sarafischer) March 30, 2020
Chris Ballard was the name I recognized the most. He wrote NBA stories and specialized in long form pieces:
After almost 20 years, today is my last at Sports Illustrated. Hell of a ride. I got to work alongside childhood idols, collaborate with some of the best editors in the business, and live out a dream. Best job in the world, I always said, and it was. A few thoughts: pic.twitter.com/oOpWvWEJVl
— Chris Ballard (@Chris_Ballard33) March 31, 2020
Other people let go:
- Tom Mantzouranis (senior video producer)
- Jack Dickey (editor and writer)
- Kalyn Kahler (writer)
- Sarah Kwak (editor)
- other editorial staff
Seems like this is just the beginning. We’re gonna hear about more furloughs and layoffs and cuts as sports media outlets try to navigate a world in which there are no sports.
Locally, there hasn’t been much movement thus far, with the Inquirer reassigning a few sports writers to news beats as a short-term solution. NFL free agency and and the upcoming draft have been critical in keeping the gears grinding here in Philly, but I do wonder what happens when that well dries up in May or June if the arenas remain empty.
Something to keep an eye on.