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Sports Illustrated Outlines Layoffs

The company is asking for volunteers and up to 16 people will be let go.

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CUTS AT SI: The editorial staff at Sports Illustrated received a memo on Friday afternoon outlining layoffs coming to the department. Up to 16 people will be let go, depending on the salaries of the volunteers who take the buyout. So far, it appears that SI’s photographers could be hardest hit by the cutbacks. Also, up to one senior editor will be let go, up to three associate editors, up to three writers, up to one photo editor and up to three writer-reporters.

The memo was sent by Jill Jaroff, a copy editor at Sports Illustrated who also serves as a representative for the Newspaper Guild of New York. “Normally this announcement would come from management but since management declined, the Guild is passing on the information we were given,” Jaroff wrote.

A few weeks ago, when editor Terry McDonell told his staff cutbacks were coming, he said this was part of a move toward integrating the print and Web staffs. By all accounts, SI is profitable, but McDonell is looking for growth opportunities. According to the latest data from Media Industry Newsletter, the magazine is down 6 percent in ad pages to 657 and circulation through the end of 2011 was essentially flat. The last time McDonell asked for volunteers to leave the group was back in 2008, when close to 50 people were let go.