Sports Illustrated Staff Layoff Lesson

Students learn about the Sports Illustrated layoffs and the broader implications for the media and journalism industries. The lesson covers the causes and consequences of these job cuts, including the role of The Arena Group and Authentic Brands Group in SI’s financial struggles.

Students delve into the effects of layoffs in print media and sports journalism, along with the larger trend of magazine industry restructuring. The curriculum also explores the impact of newsroom downsizing and the shift towards digital media. By studying Sports Illustrated’s debt issues and its uncertain future, students gain insight into the importance of understanding layoffs’ impact on employment trends in journalism and media.


Use this video lesson on the topic of the employment and media. Learn related concepts of:

  • Financial Management
  • Career Choices
  • Debt Management
  • Savings Strategies
  • Investment Planning
  • Earning Income
  • Protecting Wealth
  • Income Management
  • Budgeting
  • Financial Decision Making
  • Risk Management


7-12th grades. High School. College. Adult Education.


45-60 minutes. Adjust the lesson plan and allocate time to certain topics based on the needs and interests of the students.


Hand out the worksheet below (see the GET LESSON button near the bottom of the page).

Show students the video and have them complete the worksheet.  Review the questions on the worksheet.  A more comprehensive and detailed lesson plan can be accessed below for further instruction and study.

Sports Illustrated Staff Layoff | Understanding the Impact

After watching the video, have students tell what the most important things they learned from the video.


Sports Illustrated Staff Layoff – Lesson Plan


Lesson Plan: Understanding Media Shifts through the Sports Illustrated Layoff


This lesson plan is designed to explore the recent layoffs at Sports Illustrated, delving into the reasons behind it and its implications for the journalism industry. The plan includes a video presentation, discussion questions, activities, and a quiz to reinforce learning objectives.


  • Understand the factors leading to the layoffs at Sports Illustrated.
  • Analyze the impact of economic and technological changes on the journalism industry.
  • Discuss the importance of quality journalism and the challenges it faces.
  • Reflect on the role of media and journalism in society.


  • “Sports Illustrated Staff Layoff” video
  • Internet access for additional research
  • Writing materials for notes and responses

Classroom Activities:

  1. Video Viewing:

    Watch the “Sports Illustrated Staff Layoff” video. Encourage students to take notes focusing on key points such as the reasons for layoffs, the impact on the magazine, and broader industry implications.

  2. Group Discussion:

    Facilitate a discussion based on the video. Use the discussion questions provided to guide the conversation.

  3. Research Activity:

    Divide students into small groups. Assign each group to research a specific aspect of the Sports Illustrated story or the state of the journalism industry and present their findings to the class.

  4. Role Play:

    Organize a role-play session where students act out different perspectives in the story (e.g., Sports Illustrated employees, company executives, readers).

Discussion Questions:

  • What are the primary reasons for the layoffs at Sports Illustrated?
  • How do these layoffs reflect broader trends in the journalism industry?
  • What is the impact of technological advancements on traditional journalism?
  • How can quality journalism be sustained in the current economic environment?
  • What is the role of journalism in society, and how does it affect our daily lives?


  • Conduct a quiz based on the video and classroom discussions. Include multiple-choice, true/false, and short-answer questions.
  • Assess group presentations for understanding and depth of research.
  • Evaluate participation in discussions and role plays.


Conclude the lesson by summarizing the key points discussed. Emphasize the importance of staying informed about changes in the media landscape and the value of quality journalism in society.

Additional Resources:

  • Articles and case studies on the evolution of the journalism industry.
  • Interviews with media professionals and journalists.
  • Documentaries on the history and impact of influential publications like Sports Illustrated.

Get Lesson


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