The New York Times Guild members bid farewell to the award-winning Sports Desk

Union will hold a quiet vigil in the newsroom, featuring a ceremonial final edition, then move to an outdoor rally with a second-line march and music, all in protest of The Times’ flagrant union-busting.


NEW YORK – On Monday members of The Times Guild will say goodbye to the award-winning New York Times Sports Desk, which will officially close on Sept. 18. 


Starting at about 12:30 PM, Guild members will hold a vigil in the newsroom, displaying and distributing a ceremonial last edition with submissions by Sports colleagues. Guild members will then march through the newsroom, exiting at 41st Street and will be accompanied by a brass band. The march will continue down 8th Avenue to end at a rally on 40th Street.   


“The last thing I could have imagined during my 30 years on the sports desk was that it would be disbanded,” said Jeré Longman, the Times’ longest-serving sports reporter and a best-selling author. “We meet today to mourn its passing, but also to celebrate and honor the work of colleagues past and present. They led the way for decades with innovative and groundbreaking coverage, written and edited to the highest Times standards. And they will continue to enrich other desks with inventive and timely work.


The rally will feature speakers including:

  • Jim Luttrell -- Senior Staff Editor on the Print Hub for last six years after 22 years in Sports as well as The Times Guild grievance chair
  • Kevin Draper - Business Desk reporter and member of The Times Guild’s Unit Council
  • Jenny Vrentas, a Times sports reporter and Local Chair of The NewsGuild of New York.


"Today it feels like the whole team got traded. All Times Guild members stand united, so we don't let another department be offloaded in a fire sale,” said Wayne Kamidoi, an art director at The Times who designed pages for Sports from 1995-2015.


After months of hedging on its plans for the desk, The Times abruptly announced in July that it would shutter the Sports Department and transfer coverage to The Athletic, a website acquired by The Times in 2022. The Guild filed for arbitration on Friday regarding The Times’ attempt to outsource union jobs on the sports desk to The Athletic, which it is confident it will win. The Guild vehemently rejects the argument that The Times can “subcontract” its sports coverage to itself, in clear violation of the collective bargaining agreement.


“The work of covering sports for The New York Times is done by union workers, who have the same job protections and wage standards as the colleagues their work appears alongside,” Vrentas said. “We are standing up today to remind the company that we will not allow them to subvert the contract we fought so hard to win nor will we stand for their attempts to pit workers against each other."


Note to the media: You are invited to join the Guild outside the 41st Street entrance. Guild members, who will have protest signs, will exit there and be accompanied by the brass band who will perform as they march down 8th Avenue then to 40th Street, where there will be the rally. 

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