Layoffs Don’t Help Digital

Sports Illustrated has just announced it’s going to fuck the same chicken that legacy media has been fucking for two decades now, and you’d all better like it.

First up on the parade of How to Fuck up Online, we’re gonna PIVOT TO VIDEO!

Video. In a world of nearly unlimited thirst for video inventory from major advertising brands, SI must create real-time, distinctive content – and lots of it. We are investing millions in new hires, studio infrastructure, video hosts and talent. Central studios in Los Angeles and NYC will power all-day and evening news coverage, incorporating boots-on-the-ground local reports and authoritative national voices. Our editorial leadership, along with management and Maven’s engineers and designers, are building an entirely different way to empower SI’s newsroom.

Is there really an unlimited thirst for video inventory from major advertising brands? What does that even mean? Is he saying an audience exists for more Mountain Dew commercials? Or is he saying that Mountain Dew wants more videos to advertise in?

I gotta tell you I don’t think either one is really a problem. Mountain Dew has all of YouTube to monetize unboxing videos and teenage makeup advice and people who want to watch videos can go literally everywhere already to do it. I just:

We are investing millions in new hires, studio infrastructure, video hosts and talent.

Studio infrastructure. Jesus tits. In six months you’re gonna be hocking that equipment on Ebay and renting out the studio to high school students whose parents want to subsidize their Scorsese dreams.


Local/team coverage. long ago abandoned team-specific coverage, and that decision neglects the heart and soul of a sports audience. Sports are tribal as well as national. SI will be a leader at both levels. Maven is investing millions in a digital platform to support over 200 local journalists—enough to cover every professional and major NCAA team in North America.

They’re investing millions in a digital platform. FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND BILLY DEE WILLIAMS IT IS 2019. The world abounds in platforms of every kind, surely you can find one that mostly fits and then juice it up. Or you could just copy the one EVERY MAJOR NEWSPAPER BUILT AND THEN ABANDONED in the past ten years.

They’re building an APP, guys, which you may not have heard of but you can download it from the APPLE STORE.

Site performance has already improved, and native apps for iOS and Android with built-in community, social and video features are being designed today to keep fans coming back daily.

Please tell me this will have some kind of message board as its “built-in community,” because as long as we’re doing the greatest hits from the bad old days of the Internet, we should keep the one thing that actually worked which was the comments sections at Television Without Pity.

Sports changes by the minute.

I’m sure this comes as a shocking development to the STAFF OF SPORTS ILLUSTRATED.

Next up, content farms!

These entrepreneurs are independent, third-party businesses that are provided access to Maven’s digital platform to post their content and who receive a share of advertising and membership revenue. We firmly believe this model provides the most opportunity for talented local journalists to flourish in a changing landscape.

You know what helps people flourish in a changing landscape? Money. The kind of money they used to earn for doing the same job you’re asking them to do now. People fucking flourish like crazy when they get paid. They flourish in areas like “buying groceries” and “keeping the heat on in their homes.” It’s amazing.

The “changing landscape” line made a very tiny bit of sense back in like 1998 when nobody knew what the internet was going to be. Now that we know it’s the same four corporate weasels going ass-to-mouth in the parking lot of a P.F. Chang’s, there’s even LESS incentive to fall for it.

These third-party businesses have discretion to operate their businesses how they want. Since the businesses receive a share of the revenue their channel generates, the amount of total compensation is based on how well they run their businesses, and on their success in creating great stories and communities to attract a highly engaged audience.

Thus, the business model cannot fail. It can only be failed by people who thought they were gonna do the news, not sell the news or market the distribution of it.

They proceed with a bunch of other bullshit and nonsense, approaching sense occasionally when talking about how previous cuts haven’t worked, but diving right back into the sewers with insistence that firing people makes them nimble and agile and bendy and elastic and shit, as if sucking your own dick is something anyone should aspire to. Fuck this fucking game.


2 thoughts on “Layoffs Don’t Help Digital

  1. “These third-party businesses have discretion to operate their businesses how they want.” So instead of employees you will make all the reporters independent contractors, just to double their insecurity.

  2. Why do the execs continue to be paid to redo the same failed business plan?
    Also, I almost spit out my coffee when I got to the ATM bit — whoops!

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