Publisher of Sports Illustrated Lays Off Magazine’s Entire Staff

owner of sports illustrated terminated the employment of all of the magazine's staff, putting the very survival of the nearly 70-year-old magazine in jeopardy.

Licensing Group, which owns sports magazines, Ended Three weeks after Arena failed to pay a $2.8 million deficit in violation of the magazine's licensing agreement, the company reached an agreement with Arena Group to continue publishing the magazine. front office sports.

Purchase genuine products S.I. It was released by Meredith in 2019 for $10 million. If the publication continues as it is, the magazine will celebrate its 70th anniversary in August of this year.
“We have received notice from Authentic Brand Group (ABG) that the license to operate Arena Group will be revoked,” the email announcing the decision reads in part. sports illustrated (S.I.) brand and SI related Ownership was officially revoked by ABG. Due to this license revocation, our company has decided to lay off the staff who are engaged in this work. S.I. brand. “

“Some employees will be terminated effective immediately and paid in lieu of the applicable notice period,” the statement continued. [the union contract]. Employees whose last day of work today will be contacted by our HR team immediately. Other employees are expected to work until the end of their notice period and will receive further information soon. ”

The labor union representing sports illustrated In response, employees demanded that Arena continue publishing the magazine.

“As a union, we have fought together to maintain the standards of this prestigious publication we love and to ensure that our employees are treated fairly and commensurate with the value they bring to this company. This is a fight we will continue to fight,” wrote NFL Editor and Unit Chair Mitch Goldich.

Insiders say Authentic is meeting with various of its companies to discuss new plans going forward after 5-Hour Energy founder Manoj Bhargava takes over leadership of the publishing and licensing company. He said he has contacted all publications.

It is unclear whether Authentic intends to take over. sports illustrated And it would either eliminate Arena or allow Arena to try to renegotiate the contract.

Arena (which operated under the name Maven until 2021) agreed to pay Authentic $45 million in a 10-year licensing agreement. But Authentic is frustrated by the sports magazine's chaotic management, which has seen repeated management changes, firings of top staff, questionable articles written by artificial intelligence, and an emphasis on plus-size women. It seems there is.legendary model Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

A model walks the runway at the 2018 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Show at Paraiso during Miami Swim Week at the W Hotel South Beach on July 15, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Fraser Harrison/Getty Images for Sports Illustrated)

Arena also laid off more than 1,000 employees across the organization. These layoffs were initiated by Arena executives, the board of directors, and Jason Frankl of FTI Consulting.

“My immediate focus is to collaboratively design a growth-oriented media company and ensure we have the financial stability we need to nurture and grow the brands we care about,” Frankl said Friday. said in a statement. “This week's reductions were unfortunately necessary, but we look forward to sharing detailed plans soon.”

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