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HomeUncategorizedSubstantial staff reductions impact Sports Illustrated after publisher loses license : NPR

Substantial staff reductions impact Sports Illustrated after publisher loses license : NPR


A George Mason University fan holds up the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine at a send-off for the team, on March 29, 2006, in Fairfax, Va. The labor union representing the magazine’s staff mentioned that SI’s publisher plans to reduce “a significant number, possibly all” of its union-represented staff.

Lawrence Jackson/AP


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Lawrence Jackson/AP


A George Mason University fan holds up the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine at a send-off for the team, on March 29, 2006, in Fairfax, Va. The union representing the magazine’s staff said that SI’s publisher plans to cut “a significant number, possibly all” of its union-represented staff.

Lawrence Jackson/AP

The publisher of Sports Illustrated intends to lay off most — and potentially all — of its journalists on staff, after failing to pay its licensing fees to the magazine’s parent company.

Authentic Brands Group, the magazine’s owner, noted in a statement that it terminated its licensing agreement with The Arena Group, the magazine’s publisher, to publish Sports Illustrated, but that it remained devoted to the 70-year-old magazine’s ongoing publication.

“We are assured that moving forward the brand will continue to develop and expand in a manner that serves sports news readers, sports enthusiasts, and consumers,” it included in the statement.

Authentic indicated it ended the deal on Thursday due to the company’s failure to pay its quarterly license fee despite being given a notice of breach and an opportunity to rectify the breach.”

The Arena Group stated in a declaration that, despite its revoked publishing license, it is in conversations with Authentic and will carry on producing Sports Illustrated “until this is resolved.”

The labor union representing 82 Sports Illustrated employees, or approximately 80% of the magazine’s complete staff, conveyed in a statement on Friday that all of its union-represented staff were in danger of being laid off.

“This constitutes yet another challenging day in what has been a tough four years for Sports Illustrated under Arena Group (previously The Maven) stewardship,” the union stated in a release.

The layoff news emerged one day after publisher The Arena Group declared a “substantial reduction” of its 100-staff member workforce, citing “substantial debt” and missed payments.

Front Office Sports, which initially publicized the news of the mass layoffs, noted the company recently missed a $2.8 million payment to Authentic.

Sports Illustrated gained attention in November when reports emerged with allegations that it had published AI-generated stories under the names and photos of fictitious journalists.

It’s the most recent significant journalism publication to confront staff reductions, happening on the same day that employees at The Los Angeles Times are engaging in a walkout in protest of planned layoffs. Earlier this week, Condé Nast announced that it’s cutting staff at Pitchfork as part of a restructuring that will integrate the music website into GQ magazine.





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