Sports Illustrated is technically owned by Authentic Brands Group, but it’s effectively owned by The Maven, the Jim Heckman company that licensed SI’s media operations from Authentic Brands.
A few months later, some of the expected staff changes are starting, and they’re starting at the top, with Chris Stone leaving his position as editor-in-chief after 27 years with SI.
That was announced last night via a memo to SI staff from new Sports Illustrated CEO Ross Levinsohn, who noted that Stone is weighing an offer to stay at The Maven. Meanwhile, Stone will be replaced with two people: Sports Illustrated executive editor Steve Cannella and managing editor Ryan Hunt will be taking over as co-editors-in-chief.
Ross Levinsohn says in a statement to staff that longtime SI editor Chris Stone is leaving the publication: pic.twitter.com/cZQrxsMzm5
— Ben Mullin (@BenMullin) October 1, 2019
A company doesn’t get sold twice without expecting upheaval, and while this move near the top was the first major one, there’s likely more to come. Deadspin is reporting that layoffs are imminent:
A source at the publication tells Deadspin that Hunt and Canella are working with TheMaven to identify who among SI’s existing staff will continue with the company under TheMaven’s stewardship, with layoffs likely occurring within the next couple weeks. Stone, Hunt, and Canella held a late meeting with on-hand staff Tuesday night to answer questions, where they apparently were vague and noncommittal about the number of people who might be laid off on this timeline.
This is going to be a long-term story, obviously, and if layoffs are truly coming in the near future, it could get ugly very quickly.