Monday, December 4, 2023

Oh, how the mighty have fallen: The humbling decline of Sports Illustrated


New York Times, 11/28/2023/
For more than a half century, Sports Illustrated was the standard-bearer in sports journalism. It was the home of sportswriting titans like Frank Deford and Dan Jenkins, and photographers like Walter Iooss and Jim Drake. Making the cover of the magazine or winning its Sportsman (later Sportsperson) of the Year award was the mark of a star, from Muhammad Ali to Naomi Osaka. The magazine’s extremely profitable swimsuit issue arrived like a cultural thunderclap year after year. 
At its peak, Sports Illustrated had a print circulation of more than three million. The magazine has struggled, however, to adapt to the digital age. Monday’s revelation was just the latest sign of drift at Sports Illustrated, exacerbated by a relentless pursuit of engagement with the site’s non-journalistic entities.

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