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#pounditFriday, September 30, 2022

New York Times acquires The Athletic in ironic move

The Athletic logo

The New York Times has made a major acquisition in the realm of sports media, and many were quick to point out the irony behind the big move.

The New York Times has agreed to acquire The Athletic for a deal worth around $550 million, according to a report from Jessica Toonkel of The Information. What made the deal so entertaining for some is that Alex Mather and Adam Hansmann, the co-founders of The Athletic, told the New York Times in a 2017 interview that their long-term plan was to bleed newspapers of all their top talent.

“We will wait every local paper out and let them continuously bleed until we are the last ones standing,” Mather said at the time. “We will suck them dry of their best talent at every moment. We will make business extremely difficult for them.”

Many quickly noted the issue.

It’s unclear how The Athletic will fit with the New York Times. As Ryan Glasspiegel of the New York Post noted, the New York Times has been bashing the NFL for years.

Obviously, the goal was to increase subscribers and acquire a significant piece of the sports market. The founders of The Athletic may not have put the New York Times out of business, but they were finally able to make the exit sale they were seeking.

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