Cutbacks expected at Sports Illustrated publisher the Maven

There could be more cost-cutting ahead at the Maven, the tech outfit that publishes The Street and Sports Illustrated.

The publicly traded company, which has already announced a series of pay cuts and layoffs, warned this week that further trimming could be required to offset advertising woes brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

“The extent of the impact on the company’s operational and financial performance will depend on the company’s willingness and ability to take further cost reduction measures,” the company warned in a May 18 regulatory filing.

But Chief Executive James Heckman said he expects advertising revenues to improve. “We’re forecasting profitability by the end of the fourth quarter,” he said. “Sports will lead the advertising comeback.”

Aside from its publishing ventures, Maven also serves as tech platform vendor for 300 outside businesses, including the History Channel, Yoga Journal, Maxim and independent bloggers.

“While ads are down, subscriptions are up,” Heckman said. “The Street is generating nearly $3 million in subscription revenue per month, and traffic to sites like the History Channel is booming,” he said.

Maven, which took over Sports Illustrated and acquired Jim Cramer’s The Street within the past year, also released its financial results for the nine months through Sept. 30, 2018. The company listed a net loss of $35.4 million for the period, and an “accumulated deficit” of $25.8 million.

Heckman said the delay in filing more recent reports has been complicated by the acquisitions. “Literally in the last year and a half we’ve bought five companies. It’s a mechanical exercise of auditing all five companies as part of a single company.”

The Securities and Exchange filing has said the company is a “going concern” with enough cash on hand to only carry it through April 2021.

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