New York Times Shutters Play just received an email from Play editor Mark Bryant saying that contrary to previous reports, The New York Times is closing the Ellie-nominated magazine.

In October Bryant told us Play was scheduled to produce four issues in 2009, but apparently the worsening advertising climate and the ever-sinking NYT Co. stock price altered that plan.

We left a message with Bryant and we’ll let you know when we know more details. We just spoke with Bryant. Details after the jump.

“It was on the schedule. It was in the budget,” Bryant told us when we asked why the magazine had been shuttered so soon after both he and the Times brass confirmed it would continue next year. He later added that, “I knew everything was back under review.”

In the end, “The company needs to make some pretty considerable cuts going forward,” Bryant explained and his magazine was a victim.

According to the editor, Play wasn’t losing money. “I’m am told that last year we more or less broke even, thanks largely to the Nielsen deal for the Olympic issue,” he said. (Nielsen bought out the entire issue. It was, according to Bryant, the “largest single day sale in the history of The New York Times.)

“I was very proud with what our group did at Play,” Bryant said. “I’ve been told over and over this had nothing to do with the editorial content.”