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Tags: sports illustrated | levinsohn | fired | ai

Sports Illustrated CEO Fired After AI Scandal

By    |   Tuesday, 12 December 2023 11:43 AM EST

Sports Illustrated CEO Ross Levinsohn has been fired amid the backlash over the outlet’s use of AI-generated content.

The parent company of Sports Illustrated, The Arena Group, announced the termination on its website Monday. It gave no reason for Levinsohn’s forced departure.

“Today, the board of directors of The Arena Group Holdings, Inc.  met and took actions to improve the operational efficiency and revenue of the company,” the company’s statement read. “The board terminated the employment of CEO Ross Levinsohn, and named Manoj Bhargava as interim Chief Executive Officer, both effective today.

“This follows actions last week, in which the company terminated the employment of operations president and COO Andrew Kraft, media president Rob Barrett, and corporate counsel Julie Fenster.”

The Arena Group had said the earlier exits were unrelated to the AI scandal. Rather, the ouster was part of  a reorganization plan, reps told Futurism.

Regardless, the moves come after Futurism surfaced Sports Illustrated’s use of articles produced by fake authors, replete with AI-generated headshots and biographies.

The same was done on Arena-owned finance site, TheStreet. Arena Group at first said a third-party vendor, AdVon Commerce, was responsible for the content distribution on its websites. Arena claimed it had assurances from AdVon that the articles were written and edited by humans, not AI, and that the use of pen names was to protect author privacy.

The Sports Illustrated union said last week it was “horrified” by the use of the AI-generated content, demanding answers and saying in a statement that its members deplored “being associated with something so disrespectful to our readers.”

Jeffrey Rodack

Jeffrey Rodack, who has nearly a half century in news as a senior editor and city editor for national and local publications, has covered politics for Newsmax for nearly seven years.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.


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Sports Illustrated CEO Ross Levinsohn has been fired amid the backlash over the outlet's use of AI-generated content. The parent company of Sports Illustrated, The Arena Group, announced the termination on its website Monday. It gave no reason for Levinsohn's forced...
sports illustrated, levinsohn, fired, ai
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2023-43-12
Tuesday, 12 December 2023 11:43 AM
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