The New York Times is facing union resistance to its plan to more its sports coverage over to The Athletic, the website it acquired last year. The move “sets a troubling precedent,” the Times Guild tweeted.
“More than 1,000 at TimesGuild.com, WirecutterUnion & NYTGuildTech members signed a petition demanding that Times management stop violating our contract and respect union work,” the union tweeted.
It is not clear if this will have any real impact on the planned shift in the company. But the unions are adamantly against it.
“The company is attempting to undercut union jobs covering sports for The Times by making the preposterous argument that it can ‘subcontract’ sports coverage to itself,” it states.
It continues, “Let’s be clear: The company is deliberately creating a void in our sports coverage, and then filling it with non-union workers who are already employed by The Times Company. This is textbook union busting.”
The story was first covered by Poynter.
The Times announced earliy this month that it is disbanding its sports department and will rely on coverage of teams and games from The Athletic.
“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 Times’s newsroom on Monday morning. “At the same time, we will scale back the newsroom’s coverage of games, players, teams and leagues.”
The Times acquired The Athletic in January 2022 for $550 million. The business reported a $7.8 million loss for the first quarter of this year, but the number of paying subscriptions now tops more than three million, up from one million at the time of the acquisition.