The New York Times announced plans Monday to disband its sports department.
Online and print coverage of teams and games now will come exclusively from The Athletic, the website purchased by the newspaper for $550 million in cash in January 2022.
New York Times executive editor Joe Kahn and deputy managing editor Monica Drake called the change “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 wrote in an email to the newsroom on Monday morning. “At the same time, we will scale back the newsroom’s coverage of games, players, teams and leagues.”
The New York Times’ sports staff includes more than 35 journalists and editors. The Athletic has a staff of some 400 writers covering more than 200 professional sports teams.
For the first time, articles from The Athletic will appear in the Times’ print newspaper.
No layoffs are planned and journalists from the Times’ sports desk will move to other roles in the newsroom, the newspaper said.
“A group on the business desk will cover money and power in sports, while new beats covering sports will be added to other sections,” the newspaper said.
The transition is expected to be completed by the fall.
The Athletic had more than 3 million paying subscribers as of March 2023, according to the Times.
–Field Level Media