Report: The Athletic views New York Times deal after Axios merger dies

The sports news site The Athletic is looking to make a deal with The New York Times now that a rumored merger with Axios is off, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Rumors surfaced at the end of March that Axios might merge with the subscription-based sports media company to form a larger digital media company.

That deal is reportedly off, insiders told the Journal, and executives at The Athletic are now eyeing the Times as a potential corporate partner.

“As a general matter of policy, we do not comment on rumors about potential acquisitions or divestitures,” a Times spokeswoman said about a possible Athletic deal via email.

Axios also declined to comment on the news. The Athletic did not immediately respond to requests for comment from The Hill. 

The Athletic has seemed to rebound since it was forced to lay off 46 people in June after the pandemic shut down most professional sports. 

At the time, co-founder and CEO Alex Mather also reportedly asked most employees to take a 10 percent pay cut for the remainder of the year. Employees making more than $150,000 a year faced a larger cut.

However, by early September co-founder Mather told CNBC his site was doing better and had attracted 1 million subscribers

Subscription growth at the Times, conversely, has leveled off since January, compared to last year when subscription rates jumped as people searched for information about the pandemic, racial unrest and the presidential election.

Updated at 2:12 p.m.

Tags digital subscriptions Media business merger The Athletic The New York Times

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