Friday, November 15, 2019

Sports Illustrated

When layoffs were announced at Sports Illustrated less than a month ago and Twitter was abuzz with people bemoaning the fate of the magazine they loved growing up - I kept quiet. Forty people were about to lose their jobs. It did not seem right to comment under those circumstances.

Now with the announcement that Sports Illustrated will become a monthly magazine with five special issues (one being the Swimsuit issue) in 2020 - I felt it was time to say what was on my mind.

When the 40 layoffs were announced people on Twitter denounced the move while at the same time reminiscing about the "old" Sports Illustrated they grew up with. And especially the writers they loved back then. It bugged me that the realization didn't seem to dawn on these folks that the writers being mentioned no longer wrote for Sports Illustrated and many were even no longer alive.

People seemed to be ignoring reality. And it bugged me. Sports Illustrated is a shell of what it once was. Name a magazine popular 35-years ago that isn't.

It was no surprise that the new management moved to cut overhead by cutting staff by 40 and now move to further cut overhead by reducing the print (and delivery) costs to just 17 issues a year. I would also expect the new management to try to upgrade their online presence and the hiring of Pat Forde seems like just such an attempt. I would also look for the new management to leverage the vast vaults of past SI issues. Bring back some of the best works of their best writers of the past.

Make the most of the nostalgia so many were praising just  weeks ago. Good business.

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