I grew-up in the New York metropolitan area and I have been a fan of New York sports for over fifty years. But I honestly cannot remember ever reading the New York Times sports page in print. I preferred the sports section of the New York Daily News and Newark Star Ledger (and occasionally the New York Post if my Dad brought a copy home from work). I read Dick Young, Bill Gallo (along with his amazing cartoons), Jerry Izenberg, Mike Lupica, and Phil Pepe. For high school scores I turned to the Morristown Daily Record. I had a subscription to Sports Illustrated, The Sporting News, and Baseball Digest to stay abreast of national stories, but I turned daily newspapers for local sports knowledge, which was much more important to me. The world was a lot of smaller in the 1970s.
So needless to say, I am not mourning the end of The New York Times sports department, although I do hope the reporters and editors are able to find new work.
Here is Katie Robertson and John Koblin:
The New York Times said on Monday that it would disband its sports department and rely on coverage of teams and games from its website The Athletic, both online and in print.
Joe Kahn, The Times’s executive editor, and Monica Drake, a deputy managing editor, announced the change to the newsroom as “an evolution in how we cover sports.”
“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 shuttering of the sports desk, which has more than 35 reporters and editors, is a major shift for The Times. The department’s coverage of games, athletes and team owners, and its Sports of The Times column in particular, were once a pillar of American sports journalism. The section covered the major moments and personalities of the last century of American sports, including Muhammad Ali, the birth of free agency, George Steinbrenner, the Williams sisters, Tiger Woods, steroids in baseball and the deadly effects of concussions in the National Football League.
Read the rest here.