The Athletic Fails To Get NY Times To Buy After Potential Axios Merger Falls Flat

Sports subscription site The Athletic will have to continue its quest to find a business partner or outright buyer after talks with the New York Times and Axios went nowhere, as first relayed by Bloomberg News. The Bloomberg report followed one earlier Thursday from The Wall Street journal, which indicated that The Athletic’s merger talks fizzled, leading The Athletic to shift its attention to an outright sale to the Times. Sources told OutKick late last month that The Athletic has been struggling to pick up renewals, the lifeblood of the site, which has no advertisements. One investor told OutKick he feared a “major shakeup in operations” if a business partner or buyer wasn’t located soon. OutKick sources confirmed reports that The Athletic recently held merger talks with Axios, but wouldn’t go into detail about the state of those talks. The Wall Street Journal reported those talks are now dead, resulting in The Athletic pinning its hopes on a sale to the Times. But Bloomberg followed by reporting that talks between The Athletic and Times “didn’t get very far.” Several industry sources told OutKick that The Athletic has undergone a hiring freeze while it seeks a merger, though an editor from […]



Written by Sam Amico

Sam Amico is the assistant managing editor-newsdesk at OutKick. He is also the co-founder and senior writer at, and has covered the NBA for nearly 20 years, including his time at Sports Illustrated, FOX Sports and CBS Sports. A native of Akron, Ohio, his writing career began in Wyoming.