Sports Illustrated and TheMaven.

There’s been a lot of discussion around TheMaven’s operation of Sports Illustrated recently, from lawsuits over unpaid transition fees to handling of problematic hires to telling employees they should create burner accounts to spark “community” conversations. The latest issue there has seen several publishers and writers from team sites tweeting this week that they’ve been laid off thanks to COVID-19 pandemic issues, with that coming months after Maven announced six percent layoffs at SI in March (in addition to previous layoffs conducted under prior owner Meredith last October, reportedly at Maven’s behest). Here are some of those tweets, starting with Colorado Buffaloes publisher/writer Chase Howell:

Here’s Virginia Tech publisher/writer Mike McDaniel:

And here’s Georgia Tech reporter Ashley Barnett:

There may well be others out there; these are just the ones we’ve seen. Tweet us at @AndrewBucholtz or @awfulannouncing if there’s someone we’re missing.

Update: Howard Megdal, who ran the SI/Maven Knicks site, also tweeted about his departure. He didn’t mention that it was ascribed to COVID-19, though:

And AA has also learned that David Visser, who ran the SI/Maven Florida State site, has been let go. He hasn’t tweeted about it, though.

It’s definitely notable to see Maven making further cuts at their team sites. And it’s interesting that several of these are at ACC schools, with that conference currently still planning to play football this fall. And it’s also notable that this happened at the same time one of Maven’s writers announced they were launching a Syracuse (also ACC) site:

Garcia Jr. had previously been at SI/Maven as their “director of football recruiting” and a key contributor to their SI All-American football site, so that announcement doesn’t indicate that they’re bringing on someone new as they cut others; it seems to be more a redistribution of his responsibilities. But it is interesting to see SI launching another college site at a point where they seem to be going away from some they already had. And it certainly seems notable to see Maven making further cuts right now and chalking those up to COVID-19.


About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.