Let’s get it back to sports media.
Recently it was reported that The Athletic was in talks with The New York Times about a possible purchase. This was considered “ironic” by some, since co-founder Alex Mather once said he was going to steal all of the good writers and bleed newspapers dry.
But anyway, apparently the NYT thing isn’t going to happen, according to Sahil Patel:
Scoop: The New York Times and The Athletic have ended acquisition talks.
The companies couldn't agree on a price, sources said. Another sticking point: How employees of The Athletic that have equity would be compensated.https://t.co/9l8hENr3ZD
— Sahil Patel (@sizpatel) June 17, 2021
“The people familiar with the matter said the two companies couldn’t agree on a price. Another sticking point in the discussions revolved around how The Athletic employees would be compensated for the equity they hold in the company…”
It’s an interesting scenario, because previous reports have stated that The Athletic is not profitable. Combine that with the limitations presented by a subscription revenue model, and you have a navigation here that is somewhat tricky. It’s tight steering. They’ve grown that brand successfully over the years, and the product is very good, but ultimately it’s going to have to be able to stand on its own without fundraising cash infusions. There have been talks with Axios and now the NYT and neither materialized into something doable.
Standing by for what comes next.