Over the last two months, The New York Times has made a lot of headlines with their moves at The Athletic.
That front particularly heated up in June following major layoffs of nearly 20 people at The Athletic and an announced shift to more regional and league-based coverage. And then July saw the Times announce they were disbanding their own sports desk, shifting those reporters elsewhere, and replacing that desk’s coverage with coverage from The Athletic. That move has prompted a union grievance (as the Times sports desk is unionized, and The Athletic is not), and has produced comments that publisher A.G. Sulzberger “murdered the sports desk.”
While a grievance has been filed and some of those displaced writers will still be covering aspects of sports for other Times sections, executive editor, Steve Ginsburg, announced that two reporters from the Times’s Sports Desk, Matthew Futterman and Tyler Kepner, would be joining The Athletic’s newsroom.
Kepner, a two-time best-selling author, had been the national baseball writer at the Times since 2010. Prior to that, he had an eight-year run as the New York Yankees beat writer and spent two years covering the Mets.
In Kepner’s most recent piece for the Times, he did a feature on billionaire John Angelos, Chairman and CEO of the Baltimore Orioles and son of owners Peter and Georgia Angelos. Angelos broke his silence on the Kevin Brown situation and shielded himself from any responsibility.
According to Monday’s press release, Futterman, who joined the Times as deputy sports editor in 2017 before moving over to reporting, will anchor The Athletic’s new tennis vertical, “bringing his investigative instincts, sharp analysis, and muscular prose to a sport where we have big ambitions.”
Both Futterman and Kepner will start at The Athletic in the coming weeks.