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New York Times bolsters its sports coverage.

New York Times bolsters its sports coverage

The New York Times is beefing up its sports section in a big way: 50% more space and 10% more staff.

"This is the most extensive expansion of sports coverage in the history of the Times," sports editor Neil Amdur said. The goal, he said, was to make the paper's sports coverage as "indispensable" as its other sections.

Beginning April 9 the Times planned to expand the section by two pages, to six, Tuesday through Saturday and adding new assignments, statistics and graphic elements. Reporters and editors will increase by five, to 52.

Also, sports will move to a permanent location in the back of the metro section Tuesday through Saturday, rather than moving around in the paper. Separate sports sections currently run on Sunday and Monday.

Included is a redesign by Times design director Tom Bodkin. Two graphics editors will be dedicated to realizing greater emphasis on photos and graphics.

Also there will be more agate stats and tabular data daily and two pages of them Sunday.

The changes affect papers distributed locally and regionally, not the national edition.

The investment in sports was long in the making and not directly in response to increased competition since the Daily News snapped out of a strike under the new management of British publisher Robert Maxwell.

But the improvements could not come at a better time, as the competition for readers and advertisers intensifies (E & P, April 6, P. 12), and sports is a major draw for readers.

In a classic example of negative advertising, New York Newsday for months ran a television ad implying the Times' sports coverage was out of step.

In new sports staff assignments, former Times columnist Robert Lipsyte rejoined the paper. From the Daily News, former sports columnist Harvey Araton and sports reporter Filip Bondy joined as sports reporters, as did Tim Smith from the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Early deadlines, which especially on the 1.7 million-circulation Sunday edition discourage inclusion of late scores, were being re-evaluated. A new printing and distribution plant in New Jersey is ready to run but awaits labor agreements before it opens.

"I think we'll be able to compete fairly well on that level," said Amdur, predicting the changes would yield "significantly improved" sports coverage.

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Title Annotation:50% more space, 10% more staff
Publication:Editor & Publisher
Date:Apr 13, 1991
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