The Athletic cuts nearly 20 jobs, 4% of newsroom for New York Times-owned sports site

By AP News

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The Athletic, a subscription sports outlet owned by The New York Times, is laying off about 4% of its newsroom staff as part of reorganization efforts

The Athletic Layoffs

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Athletic, a subscription sports outlet owned by The New York Times, is laying off about 4% of its newsroom staff as part of reorganization efforts, the company confirmed on Monday.

The job cuts will impact nearly 20 journalists of The Athletic's 450-person newsroom. In addition to the layoffs, more than 20 additional reporters from the San Francisco-based outlet will be moved to new assignments, The New York Times reported.

The New York Times Co. bought The Athletic for $550 million in January 2022, marking one of the news company's largest-ever acquisitions. In a Monday statement to The Associated Press, New York Times Co. executive director of communications Jordan Cohen noted that the company had reorganized the sports site “to cover the most compelling stories that matter to fans across all the teams in a given league daily.”

“As part of the reorganization, we made the difficult decision to eliminate a limited number (4%) of newsroom roles," Cohen said. "We will continue to invest in our editorial operation as we prioritize initiatives that help us achieve our strategy and expect The Athletic’s newsroom to be larger at the end of this year than it was last year.”

The layoffs were announced in a memo to staff from David Perpich, the publisher of The Athletic, and executive editor Steven Ginsberg, multiple outlets reported Monday.

In the note, Perpich and Ginsberg wrote about goals to broaden coverage to meet audience interest — with a shift away from having one beat reporter for each sports team, the Times reported.

“Even with the changes being announced today, the size of our newsroom will grow this year compared to last, as will our overall investments in our editorial group in the years ahead," Monday's memo read, per The Times. "At the end of this process, we will have more than 100 beat reporters on teams.”

For the start of 2023, New York Times Co. reported first-quarter earnings of $22.3 million, or 13 cents per share. Earnings, adjusted for one-time gains and costs, came to 19 cents per share.

Adjusted operating losses for The Athletic were $7.8 million in the first quarter of 2023. In 2022, The Athletic saw annual losses of about $36 million — compared with operating losses of about $55 million in 2021, before the Times acquisition, according to the Times.

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