And ESPN Just Shut Down Grantland

ESPN statement:

Effective immediately we are suspending the publication of Grantland.  After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.

Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun.  We are grateful to those who made it so.  Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent.  Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality. We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain the site these past five months as he returns to his prior role.

Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports story-telling and innovative short form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms.

Rough media day.

Jim: Grantland gave a platform to tons of talented sports and pop culture writers, from Zach Lowe to Shea Serrano, who will likely end up in great but varying places. ESPN says it will continue to be dedicated to long-form sports writing, but I bet Fox Sports 1 has got their cross-hairs on a bunch of those writers right about now.

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14 Responses

  1. No, they don’t, Jim. Jesus, you simpleton.

    FS1 is run by a gentleman named Jamie Horowtiz, who essentially invented the Skip Bayless troll LOUD OPINION HOT TAKE. He hired rejects like Cowherd and Whitlock away from ESPN so they could come to FS1, be loud and stupid and create buzz. He doesn’t want expensive content that doesn’t generate page views, which is what Grantland was.

    Grantland was created because, at the time, ESPN valued Simmons so much they wanted to make him happy and gave him this playground. Eventually, the relationship soured and money dried up. ESPN had to tighten the belt. Simmons’ drama queen act went next level. Grantland fell with it.

    FS1, if anything, wants to hire people from Buzzfeed to make lists and GIF-able content that can be consumed and clicked on. They want Bayless and other loud, stupid people to yell things on TV. They don’t want Grantland.

    I mean, really. You are horrible at this thing. Just stop. Please stop. Find a different line of work. For the love of science.

    1. When is the weekly wrap up post coming? And how many weekends do you have to do? Was it your second offense?

  2. Jim, you should try to see if the other writers are starting their own website.

    You could forward them your “Sixers as Lost” column. I am sure they would be really impressed.

  3. This just in, Grantland sucked. I used to like Simmons, and tried reading that site when it first came out, but it was hard. I feel like they tried too hard to be the hipster sports/media site. That and the way they used the guy Rembert was offensive. He was basically a black guy who was only qualified to write about being black.

  4. I just went through the post where we asked you to take bets on who was leaving. Of the ~50 or so people to make guesses, not a single person got two or more names right. In fact, only six people even got one name right.

    Most importantly, this means that you’re all idiots. But it’s also not entirely surprising—the four people that left (five including Dan Fierman) are all editors, and readers don’t know editors nearly as well as they know writers, for obvious reasons.

    But I think this is probably even more consequential than if they’d lost four front-line writers. Simmons consistently complained that Grantland was understaffed (you can read what I think about those complaints here), and from what I’ve heard Grantland editors (like editors most places) often felt overworked. Now take away five editors, and you have the very real immediate problem of waaaaay too much copy to be dealt with, and the longterm problem that five of the 12 highest listed people on the masthead are now gone, with some writers (highly likely) to follow out the door.

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