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Published On: Sat, Oct 5th, 2019

theMaven announces Sports Illustrated layoffs, media outraged

The 65-year-old Sports Illustrated magazine has fallen into chaos after meetings Thursday afternoon, when managers told staff members that about half the newsroom would be laid off, according to two people present at the meetings.

theMaven, which licensed the rights to Sports Illustrated’s print and digital publications in June, is behind the decision as it takes full ownership of the company from Meredith Corporation.

As news of the impending cuts circulated, about three quarters of the staff signed a petition calling on SI’s new owner, Authentic Brands, to rescind its 10-year deal with theMaven, headed by Jim Heckman.

In a statement, Maven said it would “refocus” Sports Illustrated for a January relaunch, adding that it would also “enhance real-time news cycle coverage, strengthen mobile platform delivery and increase the development of complementary video content.”

The company also said it would publish the work of a network of bloggers, known as Sports Illustrated Mavens, who would cover up to 200 college and professional teams.

Thirty former employees on the print side of the publication will receive severance protection guaranteed through Sports Illustrated’s collective bargaining agreement with the NewsGuild of New York. Guild members are negotiating to extend those benefits to other laid-off staffers, including full-time contractors.

The New York Daily News called the move “disgraceful” in their coverage: “Notorious media goons Ross Levinsohn and James Heckman sent the old owners to do the firings…Reportedly half of all staff was cut. Editor-in-chief Chris Stone left the magazine on Tuesday before the cuts.”

After acknowledging the print media’s struggles, even at SI, they note “This bloodbath isn’t about making SI better; it’s about carving out and stealing slim profits.”

Let’s add something void from the media outrage: Ben Shapiro’s tweet in 2016.

“I cancelled my Sports Illustrated subscription after 16 years last year because of the leftist politics.”

How about his 2017 tweet: “RIDICULOUS: ‘Sports Illustrated’ Launches Cover Celebrating ‘Sports United’ Against Trump

How about fellow Daily Wire writer Matt Walsh who took SI to task over the “Burkini” in April.

“Let’s leave aside the obvious absurdity of trying to combine a burqa with a bikini, which is like putting iced coffee in the microwave. The whole point of the one is that it is the opposite of the other. Burqas are made for sexual modesty. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition is made for sexual exhibitionism. By marrying the two, you destroy the purpose of both. But that is not my concern because I have no personally vested interest in preserving the integrity of either the Sports Illustrated swimsuit edition or Islamic dress codes.”

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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