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Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight Blog to Join ESPN Staff (NYT)
Nate Silver, the statistician who attained national fame for his accurate projections about the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, is parting ways with The New York Times and moving his FiveThirtyEight franchise to ESPN, the sports empire controlled by the Walt Disney Company, according to ESPN employees with direct knowledge of his plans. At ESPN, Silver is expected to have a wide-ranging portfolio. Along with his writing and number-crunching, he will most likely be a regular contributor to Olbermann, the late-night ESPN2 talk show hosted by Keith Olbermann that will have its debut at the end of August. In political years, he will also have a role at ABC News, which is owned by Disney. Politico / Playbook Early this year, the Times laid out a plan that would give Silver a staff of six to 12 bloggers to focus on a variety of topics, modeled on Ezra Klein’s Wonkblog at The Washington Post. The plan was so specific that it named Megan Liberman, an up-and-coming deputy news editor at The Times, as Silver’s editor. As recently as last month, some executives at the Times were confident Silver would stay, mainly because they had given him everything he had asked for. New Republic ESPN has been trying to land Silver for at least five years. Gary Belsky, a one-time editor-in-chief of ESPN The Magazine and now a content consultant and contributor to Time, told me Saturday the original effort had been spearheaded by Gary Hoenig, then the general manager of ESPN Publishing, and that the original plan had been for Silver to write for the magazine and ESPN Insider, a collection of paywall-protected premium content on the Web. Daily Beast One thing that is clear, however, is that Silver’s move marks a potentially big loss for the Times. “He was doing something that is fairly rare in journalism — he was doing the math. I say that not entirely jokingly. Journalists are notoriously bad at this,” says Dan Gillmor, a journalism professor at Arizona State University. “For people who care about this sort of thing, it was pretty delicious to watch someone doing the math and to see pundit after pundit make fools of themselves with their ‘intuition.’”
Posts Tagged ‘Nate Silver’
The 2013 Mirror Awards were handed out today. Below is the complete list of winners. Congrats to all. Also, here’s a look back at the finalists.
Best Single Article – Traditional/Legacy Media
Best Single Article – Digital Media
Best Single Story – Radio, TV, Broadcast, Online
- Doug Crews, Beth Pike, Stephen Hudnell & Scott Charton, ”Deadline in Disaster,” Missouri Press Association
Best Profile – Traditional/Legacy or Digital Media
To whet your appetitie, here’s Silver’s take on if he’d ever unveil the formula that he uses:
I’d certainly like to aim to increase the level of disclosure at 538 going forward. Sometimes what happens is that I have best intentions to write a super detailed, 5000-word methodology post, and then some senate candidate does or says something stupid, and I get caught up in the news cycle and it gets forgotten about. Which is a pretty lame excuse, I know. At the same time, 538 is a commercial business and the ability to license proprietary intellectual property is a fairly big part of how I make my living, so the disclosure would probably stop short of outright releasing source code or my database in most cases.
It’s awards season! Get excited. Unless you don’t ever win awards, then just listen to your favorite Jewel record and curl into a ball until you feel better. Anyway, here’s one award among many: Jonah Peretti, co-founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, has been named I Want Media’s 2012 Person of The Year.
Peretti was the clear favorite among I Want Media’s readers, grabbing 39 percent of the vote. He beat out Nate Silver, Tina Brown and Anderson Cooper. According to I Want Media, Peretti deserved to win:
Peretti and his BuzzFeed team attracted much press coverage in 2012, as they aspired to create a new model for Internet journalism. Peretti, a co-founder of the Huffington Post, described his site’s model as social publishing — one that mined the growing number of people sharing news and other content on sites like Facebook and Twitter.
Best known for viral fluff like ’50 photos of cat heaven,’ BuzzFeed this year made moves into serious reporting and took an ambitious plunge into longform journalism.
At the Business Insider Ignite media summit in New York, New York Times editor Jill Abramson said that she “would love” to keep FiveThirtyEight blogger Nate Silver in the company through at least the next election.
“He got huge, huge readership. Half the people coming [to NYTimes.com] searched for Nate, they weren’t coming for the rest of the Times, they came for him,” Abramson said. “You hope they will be tantalized by other things on the buffet table.”
Abramson says that the Times could help Silver expand beyond the data-based political reporting for which he has become a household name:
Nate Silver, the numbers guy and author of FiveThirtyEight, absolutely crushed it last night. Silver had come under fire for his presidential predictions — most notably from Joe Scarborough and Dylan Byers, of Politico — but as the results rolled in, it became clear that he correctly called the way each state would turn. Scarborough has yet to say anything about Silver’s good night, but Byers did tweet “Nate Silver nailed it.”
The video above features Silver speaking with The New York Times’ blog editor Megan Liberman about the results. To his credit, Silver didn’t take the opportunity to gloat. He did, however, post a perfect tweet after Obama was declared the winner:
Margaret Sullivan, the New York Times’ public editor, has been great since taking on the role, but when she attacked Nate Silver, she was wrong. Silver, the author of the political blog FiveThirtyEight, has become a target for Republicans lately because his prediction model has President Barack Obama easily beating Mitt Romney next Tuesday.
Joe Scarborough recently called Silver and his work out, and so Silver asked Scarboroguh to bet on the election results. “If you think it’s a toss-up, let’s bet,” tweeted Silver, to Scarborough. “If Obama wins, you donate $1,000 to the American Red Cross. If Romney wins, I do. Deal?”
Sullivan caught wind of the bet and called out Silver:
Business Insider’s Joe Pompeo is reporting that New York Times Co. CEO Janet Robinson dispelled any rumors of the Times putting a stop on their standard print operations and switching over to strictly digital distribution. Robinson told analysts on a conference call this morning that the Times “will be printing newspapers for many years to come.”
Robinson’s made her assurance in the wake of NYT‘s announcement of third quarter financial declines. Circulation revenues are down nearly 5 percent while print ad revenues dropped by close to 6 percent. Overall, the company reported a net loss of $4.3 million from July through September.
Robinson had an easier time shedding some positive light on the company’s online efforts as digital ad revenues increased 14.6 percent last quarter. She discussed Press Engine, the Times‘s promising new app development program set to launch in the fourth quarter. Press Engine is reportedly fetching a licensing fee upwards of $50,o00 from publishers. Other digital initiatives that Robinson touched on were the growth of Times‘s business news blog, DealBook, last week’s release of the “full blown Times” iPad app, and the recent partnership with Nate Silver‘s FiveThirtyEight political stats and polling page.
As for any specifics on the NYTimes.com paywall scheduled for January, Robinson had no updates:
“We plan to release details on price and gate placement closer to the launch,” she said. “This first click free model will preserve NYTimes.com’s significant reach and ad inventory.”