Editorial Staff of Sports Illustrated Joins NewsGuild of New York


For Immediate Release | January 6, 2020
Media Inquiries: Josh Austin, josh@nyguild.org | 484-269-0158

Editorial Staff of Sports Illustrated Joins NewsGuild of New York 
Over 90% of the 80-person staff have signed on to the effort under new operator TheMaven

New York — Editorial employees of Sports Illustrated announced today that over 90% of its staff have formed a union with the NewsGuild of New York and are demanding voluntary recognition from Maven. A smaller number of print staff of the magazine were previously represented by the NewsGuild under former owner Meredith. The new bargaining unit includes approximately 80 writers, editors, producers, and other editorial staff in print, digital, and video.

The news comes three months after TheMaven instructed Meredith to lay off more than 40 staffers as part of the sale of the publication and days after the official transition from Meredith to TheMaven. TheMaven is run by James Heckman and Ross Levinsohn, formerly of Scout and the Los Angeles Times, respectively.

Staffers cite issues like job security, severance and layoff protections, pay equity, workplace safety, diversity in hiring and advancement, and a voice in editorial strategy. 

“As journalists, we hold the teams and athletes we cover accountable. It is our responsibility to do the same in our own workplace,” said Jenny Vrentas, Senior Writer. “We are unionizing to ensure that Sports Illustrated is a safe, inclusive place to work, where all employees are treated equally and can continue to perform our jobs at a high level.”

“We are proud to join dozens of legacy publications and digital outlets that have unionized to build stronger newsrooms,” said Priya Desai, Video Correspondent. “We look forward to a collaborative effort with management and our new operators to ensure a strong future for Sports Illustrated.”

“The Guild has been a stabilizing force at SI since Henry Luce's heyday,” said Jack Dickey, Associate Editor. “The basic protections codified in our longstanding union contract for print employees have facilitated our finest journalism and our steadiness by making SI a great place to work. As we turn the page to a new era, it is essential that all journalists here receive those same protections.”

“It is long past time for the entire Sports Illustrated newsroom to unite, organize, and bargain together,” said Alex Prewitt, Senior Writer. “Management can show its commitment to creating a stronger, fairer workplace for every print, video, and digital staffer by recognizing the union without delay.”

“Ultimately, I hope we all want the same thing: to uphold the journalistic standards that have been set at SI over so many decades, to tell readers stories they won't be able to find otherwise and to maintain the resources and infrastructure necessary to meet the standards we have set forth,” said Greg Bishop, Senior Writer. “Mostly, I just want to be able to continue to do the work, with the right protections in place to make that happen."

“The NewsGuild of New York has proudly represented print employees at Sports Illustrated for decades,” said Susan DeCarava, President of The NewsGuild of New York. “Employees with a contractually-protected voice in their workplace are invested in the future of their publication. We stand together in urging management to demonstrate trust in their staff and respect for this iconic publication by swiftly recognizing the union.” 



About the NewsGuild of New York 
The NewsGuild, Local 31003 of the Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing 3,500 media professionals and other employees at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, Thomson Reuters, BuzzFeed News, The New Yorker, New York Magazine, The Nation, The New Republic and The Daily Beast.

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