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

The Athletic, a subscription sports outlet owned by The New York Times, is laying off 40 percent of its staff amid the coronavirus pandemic.

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

FILE – A sign for The New York Times is displayed above the building entrance, New York, 6 May 2021. The Athletic, The New York Times' subscription sports outlet, will lay off about 4% its newsroom employees as part of restructuring efforts, confirmed the company on Monday, 12 June 2023.

Mark Lennihan/AP

WASHINGTON, D.C. (AP) - The Athletic, a sports subscription outlet owned by The New York Times will lay off about 4% its newsroom employees as part of reorganization, the company announced on Monday.

The Athletic has 450 journalists. Nearly 20 of them will be affected by the job cuts. The New York Times reported that in addition to the layoffs and new assignments, over 20 other reporters will also be transferred from the San Francisco based outlet.

The New York Times Co. acquired The Athletic in January 2022 for $550m, making it one of its largest acquisitions. Jordan Cohen, executive director of communications at the New York Times Co., told The Associated Press that the company has reorganized its sports website to 'cover the most compelling stories for fans from all teams in a league every day'.

Cohen stated that as part of reorganization we had to make the difficult decision of eliminating a small number of (4%) newsroom positions. We will continue to invest into our editorial operations as we prioritize initiatives to help us achieve the goals of our strategy. The Athletic's Newsroom is expected to be bigger at the end this year than last year.

Multiple outlets reported that the layoffs had been announced by David Perpich and Steven Ginsberg in a memo sent to The Athletic's staff.

The Times reported that Perpich, Ginsberg, and others wrote in the note about the goal of broadening coverage to better meet the audience's interest, with the shift away from having a single beat reporter covering each team.

The Times reported that the memo from Monday stated, "Even after the changes announced today, our newsroom size will increase this year in comparison to last as well as our investments in our editorial team in the future." At the end of this phase, we'll have more than 100 reporters working in teams.

New York Times Co. has reported a first-quarter profit of $22.3 millions, or 13 cents a share, for the start of 2023. Adjusted for one-time costs and gains, earnings came in at 19 cents per common share.

The Athletic's adjusted operating losses were $7.8m in the first quarter 2023. The Athletic reported annual losses in 2022 of approximately $36 million, compared to operating losses of $55 million before the Times' acquisition.