the car junkie daily magazine.


Another One Down: The New York Times Kills Off Their Auto Section

Another One Down: The New York Times Kills Off Their Auto Section

Another casualty of the print world was announced, as The New York Times has decided to end publication of the Autos section at the beginning of the year, citing a need to consolidate costs and to slim down operations at the newspaper. This follows what has been a trend among print media for a while now: six years ago the L.A. Times killed off their auto section six years ago, and the big hits at Source Interlink that have shuttered magazine titles and laid off hundreds of employees. As of writing there is no word on where editor Jim Cobb or any of the workers underneath him will be absorbed into the newspaper elsewhere or if they will be let go. While the Times isn’t the first source for information for most readers here on BangShift, it still is a bad sign when a well-known paper has to downsize and trim up the business in order to make it a little bit longer.

This is the memo from Executive Editor Dean Baquet to employees, as reported from Capital New York:

Dear Colleagues,

As I said in a previous note, we are reviewing sections of The Times as part of our effort to cut costs in the newsroom. So I regret to announce that as of the first of the year we will no longer publish a stand-alone autos section.

We will continue covering the automobile industry, of course, as evidenced by our sensational investigative reporting on the ignition switch problems in General Motors cars. And we will run consumer stories in the Business section, including regular coverage on Fridays. The Driven videos will continue online.

But despite sensational work over the years by Jim Cobb and his crew, the masthead and I concluded there is no longer an economic reason for a separate section.

Jim was there 20 years ago when the Sunday section was launched, and he has made The Times proud ever since. In the day, the insatiable demand among print advertisers had the coverage spread across several days, including Sunday. Now we’ll consolidate our print efforts on Friday, while remaining nimble on the web.

There will be opportunities in the coming weeks to single out the great work of Jim, Norman Mayersohn, Jim Schembari, Robert Peele and the many contributors, but let me start here by saying how grateful I am for two decades of imagination and dedication in making our Sunday section the best read in the business.

— Dean


  • Share This
  • Pinterest
  • 0

15 thoughts on “Another One Down: The New York Times Kills Off Their Auto Section

  1. John

    Will someone ,with money, fund an expedition to an uncharted South Pacific island and bring back a giant gorilla? Feed him LOTS of ruffage so he can climb the NY Times building and take a GIANT DUMP! How will I be able to feed the “Brain” auto stories? Off to sulk and eat too much “ween” candy. Pass the PB cups please.

  2. Gary Smrtic

    The Fish Wrap of record. A dying institution. They’ll blame it on the web, they’ll blame it on hundreds of things, but not what the real problem is, their own editorial staff’s poor decisions. I wouldn’t use that rag to line a bird cage….

  3. marcus

    Yawn. Call me when the rest of the paper shuts down the rest of the way. Circling the drain as it is.

  4. ColoradoKid

    How very nice of the NYTimes ;

    First off for eliminating their Autos section [ I’ve been watching both the quality and content diminish over the past year and wondered if this was coming ]

    But more importantly … for not bothering to tell all its long term subscribers [ as in myself ] of the change in advance [ kind of sucks that I need to see this here first … but thanks Bryan for posting it ]

    And now we’re left with one less objective automotive news source .. [ notice the NYTimes has been the only one willing to call TESLA what it is … that being an over hyped fraud ] .. to reference when considering a new car purchase as well as some mighty fine tales of classic cars , ownership as well as family stories relating to car ownership .

    So now … we can all rest easy that the Automotive Industry will be able to carry on with their rampant lies , hype and hyperbole completely unhindered …. with the American consumers buying into it .. Hook , Line & Sinker

    How very nice indeed . Once again in the 2010’s Truth is defeated … with the Lies & Propaganda coming even more to the forefront … all in the name of the almighty dollar

    Why is it I get the distinct feeling ” 1984 ” was just a few years late in coming ? Orwell’s ” 1984 ” that is 😉


    Mr Smrtic – I’ll wager a guess you’ve never even so much as picked up a copy of the NYtimes in your entire existence …. never mind read one … and even if you did you’d be unable to get past page one due to your inability to comprehend the English language when presented in an intellectual and considered manner .. especially when the reading demands a certain level of critical thinking along with a healthy dose of discernment .

    Would I also be correct in assuming that Right Wing Propaganda machine press presenting only one side of multifaceted stories is your reading material of choice ?

    1. PJ

      Just go away. Please another rant about propaganda, lies and mistruths. Worst of all its from a story about a major news paper that’s decided to stop printing a section of itself. Please just stop.

      Not 1 person on Bangshift thinks your witty, smart or insightful.

  5. ColoradoKid

    Bryan – And again thanks for posting this even though most here could probably care less . Sad that it needed to come from BS … but good that you guys did it

    Might I suggest that despite the lack of interest here [ kind of says something about a lot of the folks here … doesn’t it .. 😉 ] .. that you re – title the header to make this a Friday reason to bend the ole elbow … again . By the way .. on that subject .. show yourself ’round these here parts and theres a glass of Stranahan’s with your name on it waiting for you

    Rock On – Drive On – Remain Calm [ despite it all ] .. and do please Carry On !

  6. Chip

    You know, since we’re all two digit IQ’s around here anyway, why does a person of your glaringly obvious taste and intellect continue to sully your reputation by coming around? Your comments consistently seem to place you at odds with pretty much everything this place represents, so why exactly are you here? Possibly you’ve come up short in arenas that actually pose an intellectual challenge, so you’ve chosen (through two usernames, I might add) to be the big fish in out little pond of culture and intellect. Go ahead, enjoy the fleeting feeling of superiority. I’ll be over here, waiting to be tarred with your broad brush.

  7. anthony

    That paper is crap. Ive read it occasionally just to get another point of view. Obviously by the current state its in im not the only one that feels this way. Go in any deli here at the end of the day and its the only one still on the rack.

  8. grimm

    What a mess. At times i think us wrench pullers should just find a good way to right our existance for better means. Im not familular with this section of the Times. And at times i think we should just stop gixing thimgs quit hauling things and supporting finacial gains over peoples lives. even let the greedy onez shovel hoars e feed ,manure and coal for fire. We as people have tons to figure out from keeping the lights on and saving the planet. Food has to come from some were and so do workers. Im lost in a world without transpertation as well as in lost with it.

  9. Mike

    Wasnt very informative anyway, the writers seemed to not know much about auto’s and their inner workings!

  10. Jay Bree

    When I think of all the crap the NYT publishes in their other “news” areas, I’m very sure I won’t believe a word they publish in their car section.

    Good riddance.

  11. Whelk

    I think this just establishes further that the average reader is just not interested enough in cars to pay for coverage. Motorheads of course are bit different, but we tend to spend our money on enthusiast publications, and as TEN has shown, there aren’t enough of us to keep all the periodicals that existed going. I’m not convinced there ever was much market for general interest newspapers to support an auto section. I’d bet they were buoyed all along by revenue car dealer ads, which car shoppers will peruse whether there’s an auto section or not.

Comments are closed.