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Sports Illustrated Lays Off Most of its Staff, Threatening Iconic Brand’s Future


The entire staff of Sports Illustrated was notified on Friday that their jobs were being eliminated.

via: Washington Post

The union of the staff tweeted Friday that it would continue to fight for the publication of the magazine but that its future is now in the hands of the magazine’s owner, Authentic Brands Group.

“This is another difficult day in what has been a difficult four years for Sports Illustrated under Arena Group (previously The Maven) stewardship,” the union said in a statement. “We are calling on ABG to ensure the continued publication of SI and allow it to serve our audience in the way it has for nearly 70 years.”

ABG has owned the magazine since 2019 and sold the publishing rights to a company called the Arena Group. The Arena Group missed a recent payment for those publishing rights, prompting ABG to pull the publishing license and putting the future of Sports Illustrated in jeopardy.

“As a result of this license revocation, we will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand,” the note to staff read, adding that some employees would be terminated immediately, while others would work through the end of a 90-day notice period.

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ABG has not told staff of future plans for the publication or if it will license the publishing rights to another company.

Friday’s announcement is the latest turmoil at the fabled sports magazine, following several rounds of layoffs over the past decade. When ABG bought Sports Illustrated from its previous owner, Meredith Corporation, more than 30 percent of the staff was laid off.

Sports Illustrated still has around 80 employees in its bargaining unit.

This is a developing story.



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