The newspaper industry could have a major shake-up on the way.

Axios reported earlier this morning that the New York Times are "in talks" to buy The Athletic, a web-only sports news outlet. The Athletic launched in 2016, and currently provides coverage in 47 North American cities, as well as a select number of locations in the United Kingdom. It has quickly become one of the most reputable names in sports news, and has poached a number of big-name journalists who have been let go by other outlets.

Based on the information available to the public about The Athletic, this could prove to be a huge deal for both sides.

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CNBC reported that The Athletic hit the one-million mark for subscribers in September of 2020, and one can assume the numbers have continued to rise as sports return to full function in 2021. In that same report, the company is estimated to have pulled in $60 million in subscription revenue alone, with more being made from advertising revenue.

The New York Times self-published their Q1 earnings from 2021, a quarter which saw over 300,000 new digital subscriptions, a low-water mark for new readers since 2019. Their total revenue reached $473 million during Q1, giving them money to spend on...oh, I don't know...a revamped digital sports presence.

The Athletic has brought in some of the most respected names in sport reporting, including Ken Rosenthal for baseball, Pierre LeBrun for hockey and Shams Charania in basketball. The New York Times has consistently been improving their digital presence as the newspaper industry continues to evolve, and could turn the industry completely on its head with a merger like this.

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