SBD/June 18, 2012/Media

SI To Make Staff Cuts, Asking Editors And Reporters To Volunteer For Buyout Packages

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Sports Illustrated is "cutting editorial staff through buyouts and possible layoffs," according to Sandomir & Haughney of the N.Y. TIMES. SI Group Editor Terry McDonell has "asked reporters and editors to volunteer for buyout packages" by Thursday. Depending on the "number of people who volunteer, he will decide whether he has to lay off any of the magazine’s 210 editorial employees." McDonell "would not provide numbers." McDonell in late '08 "had to ask about 40 people to leave out of a staff of 250." McDonell said that he was "making these moves to cut costs and integrate the magazine and digital properties." Buyouts and layoffs "could extend beyond Sports Illustrated and SportsIllustrated.com to its children’s editions and swimsuit issue, and to publications like Golf Magazine and Golf.com." McDonell said, "Unfortunately, there will be some pain in this, meaning the reduction of staff. At this point I don’t know what the number will be but I do know that it will be substantially smaller than what we’ve done in the past." McDonell said that the magazine "wanted to better integrate its digital operations with the magazine." He added that the changes "will involve having a single 'NFL czar' to run all of its National Football League coverage, for example, and a 'golf czar' to handle coverage across all of its platforms." McDonell: "We’re trying to turn that into something more efficient" (NYTIMES.com, 6/15). McDonell said, "Everything is about money eventually and being more efficient." He added that although SI is "'very profitable,' the reductions will allow the magazine to become even more so" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 6/16).
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