The Olympic Channel has cut its communications and public relations team as part of a restructure, which is taking place as the International Olympic Committee (IOC) looks to "streamline its operations".
The axing of the Olympic Channel's media team comes as part of a reorganisation of the IOC, announced last year, as part of the governing body's quest to "adapt to a changing landscape".
A digital engagement and marketing department, based at Olympic House in Lausanne has been created as part of the restructuring.
It has led to Catherine Philbin, the American who was head of communications at the Olympic Channel, losing her job.
Her contract ends this week.
"Instead of returning from Tokyo this month following what would have been the pinnacle of the 2020 sports calendar, we find ourselves in the midst of a global pandemic and a virus which has plans unknown to all of us," she wrote in an email announcing her departure.
"But in this moment, all that I leave behind is everything that I have gained.
"For the past few years I have had a front row seat to some of the world’s greatest sporting events, but for every athlete the Olympic Channel has featured, there are hundreds more whose dreams propel them to train and compete, day in and day out, in their personal journeys to earn the privilege of wearing their nation’s colours.
"I have long believed that there is a place in the media industry where Olympic sports can reside together under one roof.
"From tenures at Universal Sports Network in the USA to the IOC’s global Olympic Channel, I am proud to have been a part of the evolution of how these oft under-appreciated sports are consumed outside of the Olympic Games themselves, and look forward to following these sports for many years to come on whatever new platforms our industry creates."
The new department is being led by Christopher Carroll, who joined the IOC in October 2019.
At the 135th IOC Session in Lausanne in January, Carroll outlined his vision for the future of the IOC's digital properties.
"We need to value add and simplify how general fans context with Olympic content," said Carroll in his speech at the Session.
"We will create two Olympic websites, one for engagement and entertainment and the other which will be institutional.
"We will consolidate into one Olympic app.
"We will make and partner with social media platforms to benefit both them and us.
"This will better communicate our Olympic values.
"Our strategy must have clear benefits to athletes.
"We are committed to provide opportunities for athletes and fans to benefit them."
The Olympic Channel, which was launched following Rio 2016, celebrated its fourth birthday in August this year with a seven-year $600 million (£465 million/€510 million) budget.
It reported that during its first four years it had received more than 3.3 billion video views and produced more than 25,000 pieces of video content.
A statement from the IOC sent to insidethegames said: "The IOC announced in October last year a portfolio change for a number of its departments and a consolidation of the centres of competence within the organisation in order to adapt to a changing landscape and to the new activities and priorities under Olympic Agenda 2020.
"As part of the IOC’s digital strategy, endorsed and approved by the IOC Executive Board and presented to the IOC Session in January, one of these changes was the creation of a Digital Engagement and Marketing department, led by Christopher Carroll, who joined the IOC on 16 October 2019.
"One of the new department’s objectives is to further extend the direct digital engagement with Olympic fans globally, in close cooperation with the Olympic Channel.
"The Digital Engagement and Marketing department is currently being reinforced to achieve its ambitious goals in the framework of the digital strategy.
"The area of communications and public relations with regard to digital engagement and marketing will be covered by the IOC in Lausanne."