The Arena Group CEO Ousted Following Sports Illustrated AI Scandal

The CEO of The Arena Group (NYSE: AREN), Ross Levinsohn, has been ousted from his position just weeks after Sports Illustrated, a publication under the group’s umbrella, faced allegations of publishing articles generated by artificial intelligence. 

The Arena Group announced in a statement that Levinsohn’s termination comes as the company “met and took actions to improve the operational efficiency and revenue of the company.” The move follows the recent dismissal of other high-ranking executives, including COO Andrew Kraft, media president Rob Barrett, and corporate counsel Julie Fenster.

Levinsohn was previously CEO of Sports Illustrated in 2019, he became CEO of The Arena Group less than a year later in 2020. 

Manoj Bhargava, founder and CEO of Innovations Ventures LLC, the company known for producing the 5-Hour Energy drink, assumes the role of interim CEO effective December 11. A spokesperson for Bhargava emphasized that Levinsohn’s removal is unrelated to the AI controversy. 

The scandal unfolded when Futurism reported that Sports Illustrated had published articles with fictitious author names and AI-generated images. The magazine refuted the accuracy of the report but initiated an internal investigation.

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