New York Times Scraps Its Sports Department

Instead, the newspaper will rely on the Athletic for its daily coverage
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 10, 2023 11:37 AM CDT
New York Times Is Ditching Its Sports Department
A sign for the "New York Times" hangs above the entrance to its building in New York.   (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

The New York Times is disbanding its sports department and will rely on coverage from the Athletic, a website it acquired last year for $550 million. The decision affects more than 35 people in the sports department, according to the Times. Journalists on the sports desk will move to other roles within the newsroom, and no layoffs are planned. "Though we know this decision will be disappointing to some, we believe it is the right one for readers," Times Chairman AG Sulzberger and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien wrote Monday in a letter to staff, per the AP.

"We plan to focus even more directly on distinctive, high-impact news and enterprise journalism about how sports intersect with money, power, culture, politics, and society at large," Joe Kahn, the paper's executive editor, and Monica Drake, a deputy managing editor, wrote in a memo to staff, per the Wall Street Journal. "At the same time, we will scale back the newsroom's coverage of games, players, teams, and leagues."

The Times announced early last year that it was buying the Athletic as part of a strategy to expand its audience of paying subscribers at a time when the newspaper print ads business continues to fade. The Journal notes previous friction: For example, the Athletic allows its roughly 400 staffers to vote in sports hall of fame ballots and the like, while the Times had forbidden it. (More New York Times stories.)

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