Sports Illustrated has announced layoffs for 17 staff members in conjunction with opening 12 new positions.
It’s not clear whether the 17-for-12 announcement indicates an intention to swap out higher salaried employees for those with less experience; the new hires will be comprised of journalists and editors. What is known is that co-editor in chief Ryan Hunt will retire next month as the company reorganizes into three operating units.
A memo obtained by Front Office Sports reads:
Today is a day of change in our sports business. We are restructuring our Sports Illustrated group to reflect how consumers engage with us, and how we address the needs of our partners and audience.
We are saying goodbye to 17 colleagues and have created 12 new openings to reflect the new needs of the SI business. Since October of 2019, when we partnered with Authentic Brands Group to take over operations of the print and digital web and mobile businesses, we have evolved SI by repositioning the print business as a monthly publication, with premium journalism and excellent storytelling while also developing a robust digital presence across many platforms. The strategy has helped propel our sports vertical to rapid growth, adding more than 30 million users to our sports vertical since inception.
Sports Illustrated publisher Arena Group said that despite the layoffs Sports Illustrated will hire nine new journalists and three editorial managers.