SBD/March 18, 2014/Media

Nate Silver, ESPN Relaunch FiveThirtyEight With Eclectic Mix Of Topics

ESPN's Nate Silver yesterday relaunched his FiveThirtyEight website and it appears the "new data journalism bastion is going to be an eclectic mix," according to Rem Rieder of USA TODAY. It is "no shock that on [the] site's opening day, at least, there was plenty of politics and sports in the stew." One headline read, "Many Signs Pointed To Crimea Independence Vote -- But Polls Didn't," while another read, "Baseball's Most Surprising Seasons, Good And Bad." It is "often hard to get a sense from a debut of the ultimate personality and strength of a new venture, and FiveThirtyEight is no exception." It is "clearly a work in progress." The site had "problems loading in the early going," leading it to tweet, "We're live! But there's a 70.617845% chance you'll be able to see." Many publications "mark their debut with a blockbuster cover story," but FiveThirtyEight "went a very different route." By far the "dominating offering is the Silver treatise explaining what FiveThirtyEight will be all about" (USA TODAY, 3/18). ADWEEK's Christopher Heine noted ESPN is "looking to create a stats-driven channel with a similar blog-styled draw to Grantland." Silver has been "ramping up staff for the last several months." E*Trade is an "early advertiser on FiveThirtyEight, running banner and box ads on the site" (ADWEEK.com, 3/17). ESPN Senior VP/Global Strategy, Business Development & Business Affairs Marie Donoghue said that the blog "will generate online advertising revenue as well as bring viewers to ESPN's websites and television networks." She added, "It's a front door to ESPN. People who come for tech and politics might find sports coverage they're interested in" (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 3/17).
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