What happens to the breakeven point when Sports Illustrated lays off all six staff photographers and uses freelancers instead?

sports-illustratedSports Illustrated announced in late January 2015 that it would be laying off all six of its staff photographers.  Instead, it will be using freelance photographers around the world.  Sports Illustrated is one of 90 magazines owned by Time Inc. (TIME).  Published 56 times a year, Sports Illustrated is read by over 23 million people each week.


  1. What type of cost would staff photographers be for Sports Illustrated (fixed, variable, or mixed)?
  2. What type of cost would the freelance photographers be for Sports Illustrated?
  3. What is likely to happen to the breakeven point for Sports Illustrated due to the switch to using freelance photographers?
  4. What are some disadvantages to Sports Illustrated’s decision to outsource its photography?

Instructor Resources

These resources are provided to give the instructor flexibility for use of Accounting in the Headlines articles in the classroom. The blog posting itself can be assigned via a link to this site OR by distributing the student handout below. Alternatively, the PowerPoint file below contains a bullet point overview of the article and the discussion questions.

  • Student handout (pdf) (word) (contains entire blog posting + discussion questions)
  • PowerPoint file (brief article overview + discussion questions)

Creative Commons License

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.

About Dr. Wendy Tietz, CPA, CMA, CSCA, CGMA

Dr. Wendy Tietz is a professor of accounting at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, USA. She is also a textbook author with Pearson Education.

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