Knight Foundation, A.G. Sulzberger 2.jpg Knight Foundation, A.G. Sulzberger. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0

It’s pretty understandable that many New York Times staffers would be upset with the paper’s recent decision to shutter the sports desk in favor of The Athletic.

The answers they received from the Times’ publisher don’t appear to have made things any better.

Following the news that the Times would shut down the sports desk and reassign sports personnel to other departments, the New York Times newsroom’s union filed a grievance, citing that this move impacted around 40 union members and replaced them with non-union editors and writers.

Times chairman and publisher A.G. Sulzberger met with sports journalists Thursday at the company’s headquarters, according to the New York Post, and it apparently did not go well.

“The entire newsroom is outraged at how badly this has been handled and how poorly the sports staffers have been treated,” a source told the Post.

The Post’s sources say that many of the journalists were reassigned “haphazardly” without consultation and there’s a feeling that people who strongly desire to work in sports are now wasting their talents.

“A.G. was very composed [during the meeting],” one current employee told The Post. “He said ‘The Times faced a crossroads years ago and found ways to be innovative.’ He said: ‘We can’t be stuck in amber. We can’t keep trying to pursue this one model.’”

Sulzberger reportedly scoffed at concerns that the Times is falling into the cycle of so many tech and media companies that acquire new sites to replace older journalists, saying that they should look at his “track record.”

“The most recent thing on his track record is he murdered the sports desk,” another Times employee told the Post.

The Times did not respond to the Post’s request for comment.

“What’s pissing everyone off is they are savaging their own desk,” an insider told the Post. “People have lost confidence in the leadership of the company.”

[The New York Post]

About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to