Sports Illustrated
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Devastating news to share as a major sports news outlet may cease operations after nearly 70 years

Published January 20, 2024 at 10:00

These are the types of pieces that you never enjoy writing. This week, the hard working people who make up Sports Illustrated received devastating news that will impact every staff member and their futures within the company and readers/viewers from around the world. After almost 70 years running, Sports Illustrated informed all staff members on Friday that their employment with the Sports outlet was coming to an end.

There are no Friday celebrations coming from employees with Sports Illustrated as the company's publisher, The Arena Group, has breached their contract with Sports Illustrated licensing group, Authentic Brands Group, who currently own Sports Illustrated.

This has led to Authentic Brands Group terminating their contract with The Arena Group. Originally, Arena had missed a $3.75 million dollar payment that led to a breach in the contract. Three weeks after this incident occurred, Authentic made the decision to terminate the contract, which allows Authentic to immediately collect a $45 million dollar fee, as per an SEC filing.

The Arena Group has notified their staff, who work with the Sports Illustrated brand, that layoffs will be starting immediately for employees not unionized. Unionized employees may have up to ninety days before termination. Severance pay will be issued for every employee affected.

The hope is that the licensing deal can be sorted out within ninety days, which would allow some of the employees who work under the Sports Illustrated brand to stay put, but in the meantime, their job security is up in the air with layoffs likely coming if this issue isn't resolved.

Authentic Brands Group are hoping to move this process along as quickly as they can to help Sports Illustrated through this difficult yet necessary process. Whether this means they will allow the Arena Group to negotiate their current deal or a new one, or if Authentic will go with a new operator, is something that is still up in the air for the time being.

As you may or may not be aware, The Hockey News runs through Sports Illustrated. It's currently unclear at this point how this will impact the brand's hockey coverage including their coverage on the NHL, moving forward.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all who are affected by this troubling news.
January 20   |   484 answers
Devastating news to share as a major sports news outlet may cease operations after nearly 70 years

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