“New York City Mayoral Candidates Spar in Heated Final Debate,” a Wall Street Journal headline announced on Thursday.
Readers of the Rupert Murdoch-owned newspaper should expect much less of that kind of thing in the future.
On Thursday, The Journal’s editor in chief, Matt Murray, told the staff that the paper was shuttering its Greater New York section.
“This morning, we informed the Greater New York staff that we’re shutting down the team and ceasing publication in print and digital on July 9,” Mr. Murray wrote in an internal email, which was obtained by The New York Times. “Team members will have the chance to apply for other jobs.”
Eight journalists worked at Greater New York. The Independent Association of Publishers’ Employees, the union that represents Journal staff members, said in an email on Thursday that the job status of those journalists was unclear.
“We first heard about the elimination of GNY this morning from our members, and still have not received a formal notice of any layoffs or position eliminations,” a union spokesman said.
Greater New York started in 2010 with headlines like “Rats Mob the Upper East Side.” Its stand-alone print edition was folded into the larger paper in 2016.
Mr. Murray said in his staff memo that The Journal would start a new digital section, Life & Work, to be staffed by more than 60 journalists. In print, their work will appear in the Personal Journal section. The editor also announced the creation of a Speed & Trending news desk to cover breaking news.
The closing of Greater New York comes during a spirited New York mayoral race and the reopening of the city after it was battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
It also comes during a fierce competition for new subscribers among the nation’s top three newspapers: The Times (nearly eight million total print and digital subscribers), The Washington Post (about three million digital subscribers) and The Journal (about 2.5 million digital subscribers). Many publications in small and midsize cities across the country have struggled or failed, but the Big Three have added subscribers while seeking a national and international audience.
A separate Metro section has not been part of The Times’s print version since March 18, 2020, at the start of pandemic restrictions. A spokesman for the paper said The Times had decided not to revive the Metro print section, adding: “It remains part of our mission to aggressively chronicle New York and the region, and readers will find a great deal of metro coverage in the print paper every day. We also have plans to grow our Metro staff.”
Edmund Lee contributed reporting.