The “revered” 65-year-old Sports Illustrated magazine is in a state of bedlam, reports NPR, as managers told staff members last week “that about half the newsroom would be laid off, according to two people present at the meetings.

“NPR obtained a petition signed by approximately three-quarters of Sports Illustrated‘s 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 Big Lead added that “Sports Illustrated is in the middle of a shakeup after being acquired by Authentic Brands Group in May. ABG signed a deal to license out the media operations to Maven, an ad platform and digital media company.’

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