Saturday, April 11, 2020

S-I Fires Pay Cut Complainer

Sports Illustrated has fired one of its highest-paid writers after he complained about coronavirus-related pay cuts that were revealed by the magazine’s publisher last month.

Grant Wahl
The NY Post reports Grant Wahl, one of the preeminent soccer journalists in the country, was making more than $350,000 a year but was getting hit with a 30-percent pay cut as part of cost cuts last month that included the firing of 31 people at Maven, the magazine’s publisher since last fall, according to sources. The blood-letting resulted in about 6 percent of the staff at SI being let go.

Prior to his axing on Friday afternoon, Wahl had been blasting management for the cuts in a series of Instagram posts in recent days. Management struck back, branding him an ingrate in a memo that was circulated to staffers.

“We’ve decided to direct what would have been this person’s salary into additional severance pay and health benefits for those laid off who need it most,” Jim Heckman, CEO of Maven, said in the memo obtained by The Post.

“To complain about a personal pay cut when 31 others had lost their jobs is incomprehensible in light of the sacrifices others made to help limit layoffs and maintain liveable salaries for our staff,” said the memo. “Such a me-first attitude is not part of the tradition and culture Maven is committed to maintaining.”

Although the memo did not reveal the writer’s name, a source close to the situation said it referred to Wahl. The memo said the fired staffer was paid “over $350,000 last year to infrequently write stories that generated little meaningful viewership or revenue.”

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