Digital sports outlet The Athletic lays off 46 people

Subscription-based online sports outlet The Athletic has decided to cut workforce by eight per cent, affecting jobs of 46 people, due to uncertainties arising out of Covid-19 pandemic.

The publication will also be asking the rest of the staff to take pay cuts, Axios reported on Friday, citing a staff memo.

“With sports on pause due to the ongoing pandemic, today we made the difficult decision to reduce the size of our staff in select coverage areas, affecting approximately eight per cent of employees,” an The Athletic spokesperson was quoted as saying.

“While we are hopeful that sports will soon resume, this measure was necessary to ensure that the company can weather the uncertainty that lies ahead. Overall, our subscriber base remains steady and we are proud of our newsroom’s continuing coverage of the return of sports.”

While furloughs, salary cuts and staff reductions have become all too common in the media industry in recent times, the coronavirus pandemic has hit sports media outlets particularly hard due to absence of live sports.

The Athletic co-founder and CEO Alex Mather indicated that most of the employees will be asked to take a 10 per cent pay reduction for the rest of the year, while those earning more than $150,000 a year will take a progressively higher cut, said the report.