It’s strange to see the words “good news” associated with people working in sports media, especially on a day where 300 people at ESPN are reportedly being laid off, but there was a bit of good news for those working at The Athletic.
According to Front Office Sports’ A.J. Perez and Michael McCarthy, The Athletic is going to rescind pay cuts that had been given to employees this past summer because of the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, the subscription-based sports site reportedly told staffers that the cut was retroactively lifted on October 15, giving them a surprise bump in pay for the past two weeks.
Because the pandemic all but shut down the sports world over the spring and early summer, The Athletic asked staffers to take a 10 percent pay cut that would last throughout the year. Those making more than $150,000 per year would take bigger pay cuts but it was something to be done sitewide while there were unknowns how the pandemic would hurt the company and there were limited writing opportunities. Even with pay cuts, The Athletic laid off around eight percent of their staff.
The pandemic is unfortunately still going on but there is sports taking place and because there is more content compared to a few months ago, the site is in a much healthier position to bring people back to full pay by the holiday season. The unknowns of the pandemic will make one hesitate to get excited over some good news but at least for today, those at The Athletic will appreciate the good news.