Furloughed SB Nation writers have until the end of May to accept a buyout, and after that the amount of money offered goes down, The Big Lead has learned from sources with knowledge of the situation.
Two weeks ago, VOX Media, which owns SB Nation and other digital media publishers, announced it was furloughing nine percent of its staff and cutting pay for its higher-salaried employees. The furloughs run from May 1-July 31 and impact around 20 percent of the SB Nation staff.
The buyout for furloughed writers is higher if accepted by May 31, multiple sources said. Though it's unclear if exceptions exist across the furloughed employees, those who spoke to The Big Lead pointed to that date as the deadline. Some employees may choose to wait out the furlough until July 31, at which point (depending on how ad revenue is) VOX could either re-hire the furloughed employees or offer a final buyout.
There is little optimism internally that SB Nation will return in a form resembling what it was before the furloughs and many of the site's most prominent writers have begun the process of finding another landing place.
Several furloughed employees have mentioned today as potentially being their final working day at SB Nation or confirmed they've accepted a buyout.
Reporting on the furloughs a few weeks ago, Ben Strauss of the Washington Post laid out the pessimism amongst SB Nation employees about the future of the site.
SB Nation is composed of over 300 team-specific sites and a national homepage. They had nearly 100 full-time employees before the furloughs hit. With many not expected to return, it will look much different in coming months.