New York Times is shutting its sports department

The New York Times building
The 35 editors and reporters currently working for the New York Times’ sports desks will be retained. There are no planned layoffs, the company said.
(Mark Lennihan / Associated Press)
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In another sign of a challenged media landscape, the New York Times announced Monday it is disbanding the newspaper’s sports department, leaving the bulk of coverage to its digital site the Athletic.

Under the change, stories from the Athletic, which the New York Times purchased in January 2022 for $550 million, will be fully integrated into the newspaper’s operation, providing content to the print newspaper. Online access to the Athletic is already available to New York Times digital subscribers.

The Times says the Athletic has 400 journalists covering 200 professional teams around the world.


The 35 editors and reporters currently working for the Times sports desks will be retained. Some will be assigned to new sports-related beats elsewhere at the newspaper by the fall. There are no planned layoffs, the company said.

The sports section of the New York Times has been a source of corporate pride for decades as it delivered several Pulitzer Prizes for the company and generated iconic columnists such as Red Smith, Dave Anderson and Arthur Daley.

But the proliferation of online sites and apps that provide instant information to sports fans has forced media companies with broad-based publications to reassess the amount of resources devoted to gathering sports information widely available elsewhere for free.

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The Los Angeles Times announced Sunday it will no longer carry game coverage, box scores or listings in its print newspaper. The paper’s new sports section will have a magazine-style format with in-depth profiles, investigations, analysis and opinion columns.

The Los Angeles Times will continue to provide local game results, breaking news, instant analysis, commentary at and on its app. A sports report newsletter provides standings and local TV listings.

The New York Times had made similar reductions in its print sports coverage in recent years. It no longer has a stand-alone section.


Joe Kahn, the New York Times’s executive editor, and Monica Drake, a deputy managing editor, told employees that the integration of the Athletic is “an evolution in how we cover sports.”

“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,” the editors told staffers in an email sent Monday morning. “At the same time, we will scale back the newsroom’s coverage of games, players, teams and leagues.”

The New York Times purchased the Athletic, a startup launched in 2016, as part of its strategy to reach a broader audience with digital products adjacent to the main news site. The site is part of a subscription bundle that provides recipes, consumer advice through the Wirecutter and games, including the wildly popular Wordle.

The Athletic has had struggles of its own. The outlet recently cut 20 reporting positions and announced it was scaling back on daily game coverage.

It reported a loss of $7.8 million in the first quarter of this year. The New York Times said the number of paid subscribers was more than 3 million in March, up from just over 1 million when the company purchased it last year.