Staffers at Sports Illustrated lived out an employee’s worst nightmare last night, when they received an email from management instructing them to report to one of two meetings at 12 p.m. today. It was clear that the employees at one of those meetings, perhaps as much as 50 percent of the staff, were going to be laid off. Things somehow managed to get worse.
Sources within the company are telling Deadspin that both of the meetings were canceled just minutes before they were supposed to start, and nobody seems to have any idea what’s going on. According to sources, the delay has something to do with the fact that the sale agreement that is ultimately supposed to transfer ownership of Sports Illustrated from Meredith to Authentic Brand Groups, which has licensed TheMaven to run the publication, isn’t technically finished yet. We’re told that Sports Illustrated brass is asking employees for their patience.
There are a lot of truly awful ways for a bunch of corporate creeps to go about laying off half their workforce, but it’s hard to imagine one that’s worse than sending a late-night email telling your employees to report to their own executions the next day, only to delay those executions right before they were about to start.
If you know anything more about this clusterfuck, please get in touch.