With cuts happening across the marketplace, not even some of the biggest and most respected names in sports are immune.  As reported by Richard Sandomir and Christine Haughney in the New York Times, Sports Illustrated is making cuts amongst its editorial staff.  Reporters and editors are being asked to volunteer for buyout packages by Thursday from Time Sports Group editor Terry McDonell.  More from the Times…

Mr. McDonell said 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.

“Unfortunately, there will be some pain in this, meaning the reduction of staff,” Mr. McDonell said. “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.”

In what is becoming a trend, the moves are being done to streamline the print and digital platforms of Sports Illustrated.  It’s a dilemma that faces seemingly every company that produces both print and digital content these days.  With many SI articles online, and even more content from SI writers available on the website, that connection is already fairly evident.  However, Sports Illustrated and McDonell are looking to make that cross-platform collaboration more “efficient”…

“We’re trying to turn that into something more efficient,” Mr. McDonell said. “It used to be that we had a lot of collaboration between the Web site and magazine. Now we’re trying to turn that collaboration into something more efficient, especially with the Web site and with video opportunities.”

It remains to be seen just how these changes are reflected within SI.  Will the website move in a more traditionally blog-oriented format with more videos?  Will the magazine maintain its foundation?  Will daily visitors to SI.com and weekly readers of the magazine even notice any changes?  Sports Illustrated remains one of the cornerstones in the industry, so it certainly bears watching how they handle any kind of print and digital transition.

(via New York Times)

About Matt Yoder

Award winning sportswriter at The Comeback and Awful Announcing. The biggest cat in the whole wide world.