The New York Times disbands its sports department and will rely on The Athletic for sports coverage. The sports department at The New York Times is being eliminated, and the newspaper will instead rely on coverage from The Athletic, a website that it purchased for $550 million in the previous year.
According to The New York Times, the decision will have an effect on more than 35 employees working in the sports department. There are no plans to lay anyone off, so the journalists who were working at the sports desk will be moving to other areas within the newsroom.
“Though we know this decision will be disappointing to some, we believe it is the right one for readers and will allow us to maximize the respective strengths of The Times’s and The Athletic’s newsrooms,” New York Times Co. Chairman A.G. Sulzberger and CEO Meredith Kopit Levien wrote in a letter to staff on Monday about the decision to close The Athletic.
According to them, the change would result in an increase in the amount of time spent covering sports.
“Under our plan, the digital homepage, newsletters, social feeds, the sports landing page, and the print section will draw from even more of the approximately 150 stories that The Athletic produces each day, chronicling leagues, teams, and players across the United States and around the globe,” they said.
The New York Times Company made the decision to acquire The Athletic at the beginning of the previous year as part of a plan to increase the number of people who pay for access to its content during a period in which the market for print advertisements in newspapers is continuing to decline.