Sports Illustrated to become a monthly in 2020
Sports Illustrated was a weekly publication until 2015. Then, in January 2018, the magazine reduced to twice a month publication. Now, in 2020, the magazine is to become a monthly, Yahoo Finance has learned.
Additionally, the magazine will have four special issues and the Swimsuit Issue. This will make a total of 17 issues in a year.
Plans are already underway to make the change as the staff was alerted of the change in October, and the printer has also been notified of the plan to go monthly.
Notably, sources close to the magazine say the “close time” for each issue will be 3-4 weeks, meaning that everything in every issue must be “closed” more than three weeks before the magazine comes out. This will also change the look and content of each issue.
Although Sports Illustrated is known for its iconic covers, this may now not be possible with the new changes.
“I actually like the idea, it doesn’t make sense as a weekly anymore,” says one writer at the magazine, who spoke on condition of anonymity. “I think the issues will look more like Vanity Fair or Vogue.”
Sports Illustrated has 2.75 million subscribers. Despite this, the growing pains of downsizing are also been echoed at other magazines as just last year, Meredith bought Sports Illustrated, Fortune, Time, and Money from Time Inc.
Meredith sold Time in September 2018 to Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff for $190 million; it sold Fortune in November 2018 for $150 million to Thai businessman Chatchaval Jiaravanon; it ended the sale process for Money in April of this year and said it will shut down the print magazine; and it sold Sports Illustrated in May to Authentic Brands Group for $110 million.
Authentic Brands Group in turn sold the media operations of Sports Illustrated to a Seattle-based digital media firm called TheMaven, which promptly laid off one third of the staff.
Maven’s CEO is James Heckman, a former Yahoo and Rivals.com executive. Maven board member Ross Levinsohn, the former interim CEO of Yahoo, is overseeing Sports Illustrated.
Maven did not respond to a request for comment.