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 New York Times. Journalists on the sports desk will move to other roles within the newsroom and no layoffs are planned.
Nearly 20 journalists will lose their jobs and more than 20 others will be moved to new assignments.
The New York Times will buy The Athletic for $550 million after months of talks, according to a new report from the Information. Representatives for the storied newspaper and the subscription sports news website did not immediately respond to requests for comment on the report, which pointed out that acquiring the smaller site will help the Times move toward its goal of 10 million subscribers by 2025. It currently has about 8.3 million.
The New York Times is looking into a potential acquisition of The Athletic, three sources familiar with the matter tell Axios. Sources say the Times approached The Athletic following a report about a potential deal between The Athletic and Axios in March.
The 18-month-old online sports site charges subscribers $40 annually for local news in a handful of cities, forgoing advertising.