Long-time Yahoo Sports boxing/MMA columnist Kevin Iole interviewing Mike Wise in 2020. Long-time Yahoo Sports boxing/MMA columnist Kevin Iole interviewing Mike Wise in 2020.

Over the years, Yahoo has seen a lot of layoffs, including on the sports side. The latest round of Yahoo layoffs took place this week, and that impacted one of the longest-tenured Yahoo Sports voices still there, MMA and boxing columnist Kevin Iole. Iole, who had been working at Yahoo since 2007 and had been a key figure on their combat sports coverage in particular, tweeted a thread about that Friday:

Many paid notable tribute to Iole and his work. Here are some of those:

As noted above, this is one of many changes at Yahoo over the years, including many rounds of layoffs. And Axios’ Sara Fischer reported in February that Yahoo was set to lay off more than 20 percent of its staff by the end of 2023, although those particular changes were largely about them getting out of the ad technology business. On the sports side, the company has lost some notable figures lately, and Iole joins that list. But they’ve also added quite a few names this year.

On the corporate side, Yahoo has also undergone significant transformation. The company was launched in 1994, went public in 1996, and was acquired by Verizon in 2016 (with that deal completed in 2017). In 2021, Verizon sold Yahoo (after much debate), AOL, and their other media businesses to private equity firm Apollo Global for much less than they bought them for. (That was also notable for Yahoo Sports, especially as it came with the end of the once-highly-prioritized and Yahoo-focused NFL streaming deal Verizon had, with those rights now used by the NFL themselves in NFL+.)

There’s since been some talk of Apollo Global finding strategic ways to emphasize the betting side of Yahoo even more, including a possible merger of Yahoo Sports with a sports betting company. But none of those have come to pass yet. So the overall Yahoo future is a little in flux, as is the future of Yahoo Sports. And it’s interesting to see them part ways with one of their longest-tenured figures as part of these latest layoffs.

Disclosure: post author Andrew Bucholtz worked at Yahoo Sports Canada from 2010-16.

[Kevin Iole on Twitter; image from a 2020 interview Iole did with Mike Wise on YouTube]

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.