Chad Finn explains the fall of America’s premier sports magazine at The Boston Globe, writing:
The last thing I want to do in this space is eulogize something once transcendent that theoretically still exists. Good people and extraordinary journalists remain at Sports Illustrated even after Thursday’s gross, Thanos-like corporate bloodletting that reportedly wiped out half the magazine’s newsroom.
But that’s awfully difficult to avoid when its ownership reveals a business model that is cynical, already proven to fail, and essentially the exact opposite of Sports Illustrated’s tradition of excellence.
The magazine and its website are now owned by three entities — Meredith Corp., Authentic Brands Group, and TheMaven — with the latter, a tech company, taking control with, as Deadspin first reported, plans to turn it into a team-focused content farm in the mode of SB Nation (currently facing two federal class-action lawsuits), and Rivals.com and Scout.com, insincere failed ventures of a similar quantity over quality vein.
It’s the most insincere idea in sports media since Fox Sports foolishly pivoted to video at the expense of a talented writing staff (including renowned baseball writer Ken Rosenthal) in June 2017, and it’s going to fail. It already has, many times over in many different places.
Among the details reported by Deadspin: Those who were pitched jobs running Maven team sites were offered $25,000 to $30,000 per year, with potential bonuses based on traffic. They were expected to produce upward of 100 posts per month, as well as three videos per day. There were also suggestions to find students on college campuses to help produce content for free.
Read more here.