STATEMENT: NYT Guild Responds to Disbanding of NYT Sports Department


NEW YORK – Members of The New York Times Guild, represented by The NewsGuild of New York, released the following statement in response to an announcement by The New York Times that it would be shuttering its Sports department and transferring sports coverage to The Athletic, a website acquired by The Times in 2022:

“As members of the New York Times Guild, we are baffled and infuriated by the Times proposal to dissolve our storied and award-winning Sports department. This announcement is a profound betrayal of our colleagues and of Times values. Times leadership is attempting to outsource union jobs on our sports desk to a non-union Times subsidiary under the preposterous argument that The Times can “subcontract” its sports coverage to itself.

Management gave the Guild virtually no notice of this change. Many members learned of the company’s decision in a Times news alert that popped up on our phones minutes into a meeting called to inform sports staff of our department’s dissolution.

The timing is all the more maddening because the company’s announcement has been months in the making. As our Sports colleagues wrote to management in a letter last weekend, The Times has left its sports staff twisting in the wind for 18 months over its plans for The Athletic. The company has weighed decisions about the future of Times sports coverage without any solicitation of our expertise. Instead, our concerns and repeated requests for clarity were met with silence, obfuscation or buck-passing.

Just a month ago, the Times Guild won the strongest agreement in our unit’s recent history, thanks to the unwavering solidarity of our members. We know that when we stand together, we can win a real voice in our workplace.

We will fight this flagrant attempt at union-busting with every tool we have. And we will work with our members in Sports to defend their rights under our union contract. Our standard is clear: Union work at The Times Company is performed by union workers.”

The New York Times Guild also released statements from the following reporters on the Sports desk:

“I spent more than two years on the bargaining committee fighting for a strong and fair contract. The era of unilateral decision-making by management will not go unchallenged by the NewsGuild and its members. We are not going to allow union jobs to be replaced by non-union labor,” said Ken Belson, a New York Times reporter covering the N.F.L.

“So many of us have worked so hard to uphold the high standards of The New York Times and produce distinctive journalism that for generations set our coverage apart. For management to dispose of our section so unceremoniously is an insult to all of our writers and editors, both past and present,” said Juliet Macur, an award winning New York Times sports features columnist.

“I am immensely proud of the long legacy of The New York Times sports section and the thread that runs through esteemed journalists like Arthur Daley, Red Smith, Dave Anderson and all my colleagues on the sports desk. It’s incredibly sad to see that legacy ended so suddenly like this,” said John Branch, a Pulitzer Prize winning sports reporter at The New York Times.



The NewsGuild of New York, Local 31003 of the The NewsGuild-Communications Workers of America, is a labor union representing nearly 6,000 media professionals and other workers at New York area news organizations, including The New York Times, Times Tech, The New Yorker, Condé Nast, Thomson Reuters, The Nation, Insider, TIME, PEOPLE, Wirecutter, and The Daily Beast. The NewsGuild of New York advocates for journalists to have a voice in the newsroom, for press freedom, for inclusive and diverse workplaces, and for just cause, no exceptions, for all media professionals

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