Layoffs to Begin at Sports Illustrated This Weekend?

Sports Illustrated Group Editor Terry McDonnell, needing to drop $3 million dollars from his budget, had set today as the deadline for SI folks to volunteer for buyout packages. It appears as if the deals aren't all that enticing. “The buyout package is the same package you’d get if you were fired,” an insider told the NY Post.

Keith J. Kelly reports:

One factor contributing to cutbacks at SI was a deal with Turner Sports, another arm of the Time Warner empire. In a bid to counter the clout of ESPN magazine, the Disney/Hearst sports rival, Time Warner handed off ad sales for SI.com to the Turner Sports Network. Meanwhile, McDonell, the group editor of Sports Illustrated, retained edit responsibility for the website.

However, costs for SI.com were borne largely by Turner while the internal joint venture was in play. When the marriage fell apart (when has “synergy” ever really worked?) the costs were back on the SI ledger.

After the layoffs, there is expected to be a big reorganization that McDonell hopes will break down the entrenched “silos” between print and digital, in part by arranging writers around sports which they cover, regardless of the platform where their work appears.


How long until SI is 48 pages long and coming out bimonthly?

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