Sports Illustrated Reportedly Lays Off Half Its Staff


One of the most iconic media brands in America has suffered a devastating blow.

According to NPR’s David Folkenflik — making official news that has been reported over the past two days by the Wall Street Journal and Deadspin, among others — the venerable sports magazine Sports Illustrated has let go of half its staff.

A few staffers have already announced that they’ve been laid off:

According to the Journal, TheMaven Inc. — which has licensed SI’s print and digital content since early 2019 as part of a deal with Authentic Brands Group — is planning to bring on contract workers to replace the full-time staffers. TheMaven was founded by James Heckman. Its CEO is Ross Levinsohn. Both have a history of attempting to turn legacy media outlets into content mills, and have faced a number of other controversies.

SI has been in business since 1954. Its circulation, according to the Alliance for Audited Media, is 2.8 million. Rival print publication ESPN the Magazine recently shuttered — seemingly leaving SI to monopolize the space. Thursday’s news, however, seemingly makes that prospect highly unlikely.

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Joe DePaolo is a Senior Editor at Mediaite. Email him here: Follow him on Twitter: @joe_depaolo