Future Of Sports Illustrated Uncertain As Most Staffers Let Go, Maria Grazia Chiuiri’s Next Honor

by Freya Drohan

Sports Illustrated has let go of almost all its staff

The publisher of Sports Illustrated has been forced to let go of the vast majority, if not all, of its 100 employees after its license was revoked. The Arena Group, which operates the media company, told SI staff via email that its marketing license which allows it to use the brand name in print and digital had been revoked (due to a missed payment of $4 million, according to USA Today.) Some employees were terminated immediately, and paid in lieu of the notice periods in their contract, while others were told to expect updates ‘shortly.’ Founded as a weekly publication in 1954, Sports Illustrated was reduced to biweekly frequency in 2018 (most recently, it has been monthly). Meredith Publishing acquired the brand in 2018 as part of the purchase of Time Inc. and would go on to sell its intellectual property to Authentic Brands Group the following year for $110 million, in turn agreeing with The Arena Group to publish SI in print and digital for a period of 10 years. (In other words: The Arena Group missed the $4 million payment owed to Authentic Brands Group last month.) In December 2023, publisher Ross Levinsohn exited surrounding widespread controversy relating to the magazine’s use of AI-generated stories.

A warning was reportedly sent to The Arena Group earlier this month, ahead of the decision. Deadline adds that the Sports Illustrated Union and The NewsGuild of New York have both vowed to “fight for every one of our colleagues.”

UPDATE: On X, senior writer Pat Forde shared: “Matt Lombardi of the Arena Group: “We are going to continue to operate Sports Illustrated. … Either Arena or someone else is going to have the license to operate Sports Illustrated.”

More as we learn it.

(Sports Illustrated)

Maria Grazia Chiuri will receive the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion during Paris Fashion Week 

Maria Grazia Chiuri is set to be honored with the Neiman Marcus Award for Distinguished Service in the Field of Fashion; the same award that was given to Monsieur Christian Dior in 1947. The creative director of women’s Haute Couture, ready-to-wear and accessories collections will be fêted at a star-studded celebration on March 3 at the luxury retailer’s annual awards ceremony at the Ritz Hotel. According to a media alert, Stanely Marcus presented the award to Dior in Dallas in the year that would prove to be a seminal chapter in the house’s history, as ‘the New Look’ was introduced to the world post WW II. “We recognize Maria Grazia Chiuri with the same award Monsieur Dior won for her extraordinary work at the House of Dior that has catapulted female creative representation in the industry,” Geoffroy van Raemdonck, CEO at Neiman Marcus Group said. “Her historic appointment at the Parisian Maison has ushered in a new era of cultural impact for the brand.”

Maria Grazia Chiuri

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