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Iconic sports publication, Sports Illustrated, undergoes layoffs amid financial strains at The Arena Group. Authentic Brands Group terminates Arena’s license due to missed payments.

Major Layoffs at Sports Illustrated

The iconic sports publication, Sports Illustrated, is undergoing significant layoffs as its publisher, The Arena Group, faces financial challenges. After failing to manage its substantial debt and missing crucial payments, Arena Group announced the reduction of its workforce, affecting a significant number of employees.

Licensing Troubles and Ownership Changes

Authentic Brands Group (ABG), the parent company of Sports Illustrated, has decided to revoke Arena Group’s license to publish the magazine. This decision came after Arena Group’s failure to meet its quarterly license fee obligations. Despite these issues, Arena Group stated its commitment to continue negotiations and production of Sports Illustrated in the interim.

The Union’s Call for Action

The Sports Illustrated Union, representing a substantial portion of the magazine’s staff, has expressed concern over the layoffs. They’ve urged ABG to ensure the continued publication of the magazine, highlighting its nearly 70-year legacy of serving sports news readers and fans.

Sports Illustrated’s Controversial Past

Recently, Sports Illustrated drew attention following reports of utilizing AI-generated stories and photos. The publication has undergone several changes in ownership and management in recent years, raising questions about its future direction and editorial integrity.

The Future of Sports Illustrated

While the future of Sports Illustrated remains uncertain, both ABG and Arena Group have expressed a commitment to preserving the brand’s legacy. ABG’s termination of Arena Group’s publishing license has opened the door for potential new publishers, ensuring that the brand continues to evolve and grow.


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