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Publisher of Sports Illustrated Lays Off Most Of Magazine’s Staff

via Sports Illustrated
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The owner of Sports Illustrated terminated the employment of the entire staff after a licensing agreement was revoked due to a missed payment.

The future of the nearly 70-year-old magazine is uncertain. The union representing the employees demanded that Arena continue publishing the magazine.

Authentic, the owner, is considering new plans and leadership changes, and it’s unclear if they will take over Sports Illustrated or allow Arena to renegotiate its deal.

“We were notified by Authentic Brands Group (ABG) that the license under which the Arena Group operates the Sports Illustrated (SI) brand and SI-related properties had been officially revoked by ABG. As a result of this license revocation, we will be laying off staff that work on the SI brand,” the statement read.

“Some employees will be terminated immediately,” the statement added, “and paid in lieu of the applicable notice period under the [the union contract]. Employees with a last working day of today will be contacted by the People team soon. Other employees will be expected to work through the end of the notice period and will receive additional information shortly.”

“We have fought together as a union to maintain the standard of this storied publication that we love and to make sure our workers are treated fairly for the value they bring to this company. It is a fight we will continue,” NFL editor and unit chair Mitch Goldich wrote.

Arena has faced operational issues and layoffs, leading to instability in the organization.

“My immediate focus is to collaboratively design a growth-oriented media company, ensuring the financial stability necessary to cultivate and grow the brands we cherish,” FTI Consulting’s Jason Frankl said. “While this week’s layoffs were regrettably necessary, I look forward to sharing detailed plans soon.”

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