Saturday December 9, 2023

Sources: The Athletic Reassigns Local Editors in Major Shift

  • Content produced by local writers will no longer be handled by editors in the same market.
  • The site laid off about 8% of its workforce in June amid the pandemic.
New Guy on the Field
Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

Update (6:40 p.m. ET): This story originally stated layoffs were expected. It has been clarified to note sources within the organization have told FOS some editors are bracing for job losses.

When it launched in 2016, The Athletic touted its ability to super-serve local sports fans as it hired top writers and editors in each market away from newspapers. 

That approach just shifted dramatically. The content produced by local writers will no longer be handled by editors in the same market, sources with knowledge of the shift in strategy told Front Office Sports. 

The move was announced in a conference call with staff on Jan. 14.

The writers for each market will now fall under the vertical for each sport, one source said. Some editors are bracing for job losses, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the plan.

The Athletic denies there will be layoffs:

“As we announced on a staff call today, we will be making some structural changes to our editor setup to better balance workloads and improve coordination and communication throughout the newsroom,” The Athletic said in a statement to Front Office Sports. “To be clear, there will be no layoffs or salary cuts and we’ll be hiring for several new editorial positions early in 2021. There will be no changes to our reporters’ roles or assignments and local coverage will not be impacted.”

The Athletic often has multiple editors in each market, although some smaller markets are handled by editors in other regions.

The Athletic had its first significant layoff in June 2020 as the pandemic shut down college and professional sports. About 8% of the workforce was cut and many of the approximately 450 employees left at the company saw pay reductions that lasted about five months. 

In September, CEO and co-founder Alex Mather said The Athletic had surpassed 1 million subscribers. 

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

Jon Rahm

LIV Golf’s Signing of Jon Rahm Further Complicates Partnership Negotiations

The world’s third-ranked golfer is joining LIV Golf’s roster.
Sports Illustrated

‘The Amount of Useless Stuff You Guys Do Is Staggering.’ Inside a Shakeup at Sports Illustrated’s Publisher

The new owner of the company that operates SI made a jarring first impression Wednesday, warning his employees: ‘No one is important.’
Peyton Manning on the ManningCast

ESPN’s ManningCast Goes Double: Two MNF Games, Two Brothers, One Epic Show

Peyton and Eli Manning will call two “Monday Night Football” games at the same time on Dec. 11 as ManningCast expands across ESPN.
Shaquille O'Neal

A.I. Shaq? Authentic Files Trademarks Hinting at Virtual Shaquille O’Neal

Shaquille O’Neal and licensing group claim “ASK SHAQ” and “SHAQ A.I.”
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Golf World in Chaos After Jon Rahm Joins LIV


Featured Today

The College Football Playoff is considering rotating TV networks for the national championship game.

CFP Considers Super Bowl-Like Rotation For National Championship Game

Multiple networks could share rights to the championship game, sources told FOS.
Brett Favre
November 27, 2023

Favre Welfare Case Hold-Up? “AG’s Office Has Not Expressed Interest In Pursuing”

The DOJ interviewed Brett Favre in early 2020.
The future of the Pac-12 rests on a court decision.
November 24, 2023

The Pac-12 Plays Its Final Regular-Season Game. Then A Court Decides Its Fate.

The conference’s future rests with a court decision.
Lane Kiffin
November 9, 2023

Ole Miss, Lane Kiffin Lawyers Argue for Dismissal of Player Lawsuit

FOS obtained audio of Lane Kiffin’s interaction with the player behind lawsuit.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple Locations
Multiple Locations
Creative Artists Agency
Multiple Locations
Bill Belichick

The Hoodie in the Booth? Bill Belichick’s TV Analyst Prospects Grow

If the Patriots coach is interested in TV, several TV networks told Front Office Sports they’d love to talk to him.
December 6, 2023

NBA Viewers Like the In-Season Tourney. What About Broadcasters?

The NBA In-Season Tournament could attract new media partners.
December 8, 2023

Deadspin Alters Controversial ‘Black Face’ Story Amid Legal Threat

After over a week of outrage, Deadspin changed a story many perceived as an attack on a young Kansas City Chiefs fan.

NHL’s Chris Foster on Amplifying Content Distribution With Automation

Learn how the NHL is using WSC Sports to increase fan engagement.
Eagles Niners
December 6, 2023

Eagles-49ers Achieves Fox’s Highest Sunday Viewership of Season

Fox’s broadcast of 49ers vs. Eagles pulls in 27.7M viewers.
ESPN Stephen A. Smith
December 5, 2023

Stephen A. Smith to ESPN: ‘I Want To Be Highest-Paid Talent’

With a No. 1 show, Stephen A. Smith wants to become number one in compensation.
December 5, 2023

Seminoles’ CFP Snub Opens New Front in Disney vs. Florida War

Florida lawmakers are already considering legislation to protest the College Football Playoff’s exclusion of Florida State.
The Australia men's cricket team celebrating winning the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup.
December 4, 2023

Amazon Secures ICC Cricket Broadcast Media Rights in Australia

Prime Video will be Australia’s exclusive home for ICC events through 2027.