The New York Times disbands sports department and will rely on coverage from The Athletic

Category: Business


Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. disband / dɪsˈbænd / (v.) – to stop existing or operating as a group

    Fans of the popular boy band are disappointed because of the rumors that the group will disband soon.

  2. layoff / ˈleɪˌɔf / (n.) – the situation in which a company is ending the employment of its staff

    The pandemic led to hundreds of company layoffs.

  3. respective / rɪˈspɛk tɪv / (adj.) – relating or belonging to specific people or things someone has just mentioned

    Doctors, who are experts in their respective fields, presented at the meeting.

  4. chronicle / ˈkrɒn ɪ kəl / (v.) – to describe or write a series of events in the order in which they happened

    The journalist was assigned to chronicle the events during the national elections.

  5. pullback / ˈpʊlˌbæk / (n.) – an act of becoming less involved or engaged in something

    The local government’s pullback on environmental initiatives is concerning.


Read the text below.

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 impacts 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.

“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.

They say sports coverage will be expanded under the shift. “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 The Athletic produces each day chronicling leagues, teams and players across the United States and around the globe,” they wrote.

Sports writers for The New York Times have won several Pulitzer Prizes over the years, including Arthur Daley in 1956 in the column, “Sports of the Times;” Walter Wellesley (Red) Smith in 1976 for commentary and Dave Anderson in 1981 for commentary.

The New York Times Co. announced early last year that it was buying The Athletic as part of a strategy to expand its audience of paying subscribers at a time when the newspaper print ads business continues to fade.

Unlike many local news outlets, the Times gained millions of subscribers during the presidency of Donald Trump and the COVID-19 pandemic. But it has been actively diversifying its coverage with lifestyle advice, games and recipes, to help counter a pullback from the politics-driven news traffic boom of 2020.

In May, the Times reached a deal for a new contract with its newsroom union following more than two years of talks that included a 24-hour strike. The deal included salary increases, an agreement on hybrid work and other benefits.

 This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • As part of The New York Times’ strategy to expand its audience of paying subscribers, it announced last year that it was buying The Athletic. Do you think this was a good move? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • What factors would you consider if you were to subscribe to a newspaper (ex. brand reputation, content quality)? Why? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • How do you feel about news outlets that only publish politics-driven news? Do you like reading politics-driven news? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Is it necessary for newspapers to diversify their coverage with lifestyle advice, games, and recipes? Why or why not? Discuss.