Maven Cuts Staff 9%, Anticipates $30 Million Revenue Reduction

Maven Media Brands said Monday it will be letting go of 31 people, about 9% of its staff of 332.

Sports Illustrated journalists represent 6% of the overall cost reduction.

In a letter sent to employees, CEO James Heckman cited the COVID-19 pandemic as "dramatically" disrupting "our normal way of life and doing business," as well as the " entire media industry, including advertising budgets.”

While “unique visitors, engagement, video views and partner signings are strong and continue to grow efficiently,” the industry is suffering a 40% decrease in programmatic CPMs, he noted.

Heckman said Maven is “anticipating a $30 million reduction in revenue for 2020, comprised of a $17 million reduction in sponsorship sales, $10 million reduction in programmatic CPM-driven sales and $3 million in other revenue initiatives, such as events.” 

The cuts will affect all departments.

Senior management and sales are taking two-thirds of the total payroll cuts.

Senior management and high-salaried executives are reducing their 2020 compensation by 30%, amounting to a $4.4 million savings, according to Heckman.

Those cuts to executives’ pay saves more than 30 jobs, “avoiding a 20% workforce cut,” he wrote. Most planned new hiring has been put on hold.

Maven has also taken out a $12 million credit facility with B. Riley Financial, “to provide a financial buffer in case economic matters deteriorate further,” Heckman wrote.

“We wish we could change the circumstances, but we are now positioned — with a talented, experienced team, diverse revenue streams, and a powerful business platform — to weather the ongoing COVID-19 storm and help independent media companies that are not,” he added.


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