Nieman Foundation at Harvard
HOME
          
LATEST STORY
Journalists are burned out. Some newsrooms are fighting back.
ABOUT                    SUBSCRIBE
Jan. 6, 2022, 12:11 p.m.

The New York Times is buying sports subscription site The Athletic for $550 million, The Information reported Thursday (Bloomberg has confirmed). As also previously reported by The Information, The Athletic had wanted more like $750 million. From that piece by Jessica Toonkel:

The Athletic has built an avid following of sports fans — the majority of whom pay $72 a year, to follow their favorite teams — and the company grew its business by paying competitive salaries to poach experienced local sports journalists from major newspapers around the country. The Athletic is now looking to grow advertising revenue and recently launched a free daily newsletter. The company told investors last year it expected ad sales to reach $31 million in 2023.

The Athletic brought in $47 million in revenue in 2020 while burning $41 million, as The Information first reported. The publication was forced to cut staff and pay during the early months of the coronavirus pandemic when most live sporting events were suspended, but it notched a major milestone when it hit 1 million subscribers in September 2020. As of last fall, the company projected 2021 revenue would jump to $77 million, and that cash burn would drop to $35 million.

“The talks WERE real wow,” my coworker Sarah Scire said in Slack today. “Still think this quote about local papers (by the athletic as quoted by nyt) was gross.”

It was! Looks like it worked out for them though.

Show tags
 
Join the 60,000 who get the freshest future-of-journalism news in our daily email.
Journalists are burned out. Some newsrooms are fighting back.
Keeping reporters healthy over the long term often requires both systemic and behavioral changes, and getting buy-in often isn’t easy.
Disinformation often gets blamed for swaying elections, but the research isn’t so clear
“Our belief in free will is ultimately a reason so many of us back democracy in the first place. Denying it can arguably be more damaging than a few fake news posts lurking on social media.”
After LA Times layoffs, questions about diversity and seniority swirl
Disagreements between the LA Times and its Guild over seniority protections ended in more than 60 journalists of color being laid off.