The revered 65-year-old sports mag is currently in a state of duress.
In a meeting Thursday afternoon, managers told staff members that about half the newsroom would be laid off. NPR obtained a petition signed by approximately three-quarters of the journalists asking its new owners not to deliver control of the publication to a digital publisher named TheMaven network.
“TheMaven wants to replace top journalists in the industry with a network of Maven freelancers and bloggers, while reducing or eliminating departments that have ensured that the stories we publish and produce meet the highest standards,” the petition reads. “These plans significantly undermine our journalistic integrity, damage the reputation of this long-standing brand and negatively [affect] the economic stability of the publication.”
The uncertainty surrounding the magazine’s status had caused chaos for the newsroom over the previous 24 hours. Meetings that had been scheduled for midday Thursday were called off minutes before they were due to begin. On recordings heard by NPR, the magazine’s editors apologized for the uncertainty.