ESPN Fail: ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’ Terminates Grantland

ESPN announced the suspension of Grantland, an internet magazine-styled website beloved by some and criticized by others.

“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,” ESPN wrote in a statement.

After severing it’s relationship with the site’s original editor-in-chief and creator Bill Simmons, president John Skipper told SI.com’s Richard Deitsch in May that they planned to continue moving forward with the unique website. After Simmons departed many writers, producers and staffers resigned giving an inkling that internal troubles smoldered from within.

The official statement from ESPN added:

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.

CNN reported that according to an ESPN spokeswoman the company remains “totally committed” to two derivative internet projects, FiveThirtyEight and The Undefeated. Overall 40 writers, producers, and editors will be impacted by the cancellation.

Simmons who left Grantland under a cloud of controversy tweeted:

Grantland originated in June 2011 with Simmons as purveyor and a cast of sports and pop culture writers, including Chuck Klosterman, Malcolm Gladwell, Dave Eggers, Chris Jones, and Molly Lambert. The site was nominated for three National Magazine Awards in 2015.


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