There apparently is not a huge market for boring numbers geeks and their stats, stats, stats, stats, stats, and data, data, data, data, data.
When ESPN nabbed Nate Silver from the New York Times, political elites and those in the Acela Corridor heralded the move. According to a report in BigLeadSports, though, his new site at ESPN has been nothing short of a “disaster” and is hardly in demand:
Inside ESPN, there has been a lot of talk about the struggles of Nate Silver’s 538 website. It hasn’t even been online for a year yet, but from lack of revenue to lack of traffic to lack of advertising, it is already being billed as a “disaster” by some at the network. [An ESPN spokesman said Friday about 538: “Traffic is ahead of where it was with the New York Times.”] More than a couple ESPN suits have been trying to pin these failures on Bill Simmons, I’m told. Their reasoning: Simmons wanted him, he got him, and the site is not delivering. You’re giving Simmons too much freedom, ESPN President John Skipper’s underlings complain. [Silver, you may recall, ran into these problems at the New York Times, another large media entity plagued by bureaucratic problems, partially stemming from a generation gap.]