This is the kind of news the National Press Photographers Association (NPPA) wishes it never had to report. But this morning, the organization confirmed that the six remaining staff photographers at Sports Illustrated were laid off Thursday.
From Donald R. Winslow’s item:
Staff photographers Robert Beck, Simon Bruty, Bill Frakes, David E. Klutho, John McDonough and Al Tielemans were informed of the decision around noon Eastern time on Thursday.
The magazine’s director of photography Brad Smith told Winslow the move was related to a broader restructuring of various Time Inc. editorial departments. Smith also said that he hopes the laid off photographers will be willing to continue to contribute to the magazine in some fashion.
The dramatic SI move is also, very possibly, a reflection of the fact that as the breadth and depth of very affordable syndication services like Shutterstock continue to enlarge, it becomes more and more difficult for media companies to justify the salaries and travel costs associated with event-driven photographers.
Read the rest of Winslow’s report here. And see comments below for more info on each departing photog.
Update (3:00 p.m.):
Per Capital New York’s Nicole Levy, other SI staffers out Thursday include several copy editors, two senior writers and two SI Kids editors. A spokesperson told her some of the departing photographers and editorial employees took buyouts.