Sports Illustrated lays off most or all of its workers, union says

The publisher of Sports Illustrated plans to lay off most or all of the iconic brand’s staff, putting its future in doubt, according to the union that represents workers at the venerable magazine.

“Earlier today the workers of Sports Illustrated were notified that The Arena Group is planning to lay off a significant number, possibly all, of the Guild-represented workers at SI,” the the union representing most of the publication’s employees said on Friday. 

It called on the magazine’s owner, Authentic Brands Group (ABG), to ensure the continued publication of the nearly 70-year media brand.

“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,” Mitch Goldich, NFL editor and unit chair at The NewsGuild of New York, said in the labor group’s statement

ABG owns Sports Illustrated but sold the publishing rights to the Arena Group.

Pink slips were given to the publication’s entire staff, according to Front Office, which first reported the news.

The Arena Group on Thursday announced it was making a significant reduction in the company’s workforce, saying the company held substantial debt and recently missed payments. Those missed payments prompting ABG to pull the publishing license for Sports Illustrated, the union noted.

—This story is developing and will be updated.

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