New York Times Cancels Sports Desk, Shuts Down Its Operations

The New York Times has announced that beginning Monday, it would cease operations at its sports department and move all its coverage to another source.

The employees of the Times were advised via email by Joe Kahn, the paper’s executive editor, and Monica Drake, the deputy managing editor, that the NYTs aims to focus distinctive, powerful news and investigative journalism that investigates the nexus of sports with money, power, culture, and society. 

In addition to this, they highlighted a decrease in coverage of players, teams, games, and leagues.

The sports coverage will now be limited to an outlet the Times acquired for $550 million the previous year and is responsible for publishing. The Gray Lady’s self-reporting indicates that they conferred about the decision as well as the repercussions of it.

Readers of The Times will now get coverage of athletes, sporting events, and leagues from members of The Athletic staff. Additionally, articles from The Athletic will be published in the print edition of The Times newspaper. Access to The Athletic, run independently from the Times staff, is included in the price of an online subscription to the New York Times.

As Mr. Kahn and Ms. Drake have stated, there will not be any layoffs planned, and the journalists who work at the sports desk will be transitioning to alternative responsibilities within the newsroom. 

The business desk will cover the money and power in sports, and other sports beats will be introduced to other parts of the publication. It is anticipated that the relocations will be finished by the fall.

According to officials, the purchase of The Athletic by The Times was motivated by the need to increase the publication’s appeal to a more diverse readership. They provided it as part of a membership package that included the primary news site for the Times, Cooking, the Wirecutter product review service, and Games.

As a commercial enterprise, The Athletic has not yet achieved profitability. The deficit for the first quarter for the corporation was $7.8 million. When the company was acquired, there were around one million paying customers; however, as of March 2023, that number has climbed to over three million.