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May 19, 2020

Sports Illustrated Publisher Says It Needs to Raise Funds

Mediaite: Sports Illustrated owner TheMaven "only has enough money for the next 11 months and told investors that “there is substantial doubt about the company’s ability to continue as a going concern,” according to a new report [from The Hollywood Reporter's Alex Weprin]. Maven took over Sports Illustrated a little under a year ago and the company has struggled since. It’s gone through waves of layoffs, including cutting 9% of its staff on March 30. The company has also caused a rift with former and current staffers, most notably a public firing and smearing of former SI writer Grant Wahl. According to a report, Maven’s filing blames COVID-19 as a reason for its struggles, but reporter Brian Floyd noted, “This concern has been around for years. When it did the SI deal a year ago, Maven had enough cash to make it to June 2020.” To combat financial struggles, the statement says, “Accordingly, the Company is currently seeking to raise additional funds, primarily through the insurance of debts and/or equity securities. However, there can be no assurances that the Company will be successful in this regard.” In November 2019, Sports Illustrated moved to monthly publishing with an emphasis on its swimsuit issue. The company took on one of its first business ventures in the CBD industry in February, which several experts and journalists questioned at the time. One former employee telling Mediaite “it was strange to see.""


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