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Posts Tagged ‘Nate Silver’

FiveThirtyEight Adds Three

FiveThirtyEight, the forthcoming site to be edited by Nate Silver, continues to beef up its staff. Below are three new hires made by the ESPN owned site.

  • Mona Chalabi joins as lead writer for FiveThirtyEight’s “EveryData,” Sliver described EveryData as “our bloglike/streamlike product.” Chalabi comes to the site from The Guardian, where she served as a researcher and reporter for its data team.
  • Benjamin Morris has been named senior writer, sports. Morris most recently worked as a freelance writer and quantitative analyst.
  • Neil Paine joins as senior writer and analyst. Plane comes to the site from Sports Reference.

FiveThirtyEight Adds Deputy Editor and Director of Data and Technology

bw-smallFiveThirtyEight, the forthcoming site from ESPN that will be edited by Nate Silver, has named Andrei Scheinkman (pictured) deputy editor and director of data and technology. Scheinkman was most recently data editor for The Huffington Post. Prior to that he worked on the New York Times’ interactive news team.

“We’re thrilled to have Andrei,” said Silver, in a statement. “Data visualization is a tremendous way to take a complex set of information and make it approachable and understandable, which is among the most important functions of journalism. His work is at the essence of what FiveThirtyEight stands for.”

Silver and Scheinkman will now being the process of hiring a data visualization team for FiveThirtyEight.

FiveThirtyEight Names Ben Casselman Chief Economics Writer

Ben Casselman GBen Casselman is joining FiveThirtyEight — the yet-to-launch ESPN site to be edited by Nate Silver — as its chief economics writer. Caseelman comes to the site from The Wall Street Journal, where he had worked since 2006. Casselman most recently served as the Journal’s lead economics writer.

During his time at the Journal, Casselman was part of a team whose work on the Deepwater Horizon oil spill won a Gerald Loeb Award and was a Pulitzer finalist.

“Ben’s exceptional career at The Wall Street Journal demonstrates that dogged and tenacious reporting is not the enemy of data-driven journalism,” said Silver, in a statement. “By contrast, they have much the same method. It’s a matter of asking great questions, and being willing to dig under the surface of the problem to provide clarity to a wider audience amid the massive amount of data and information in the world today.”

Morning Media Newsfeed: Tribune Co Cuts 700 | NYT‘s D.C. Staff Shakeup | AOL Kills Winamp

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Tribune Co. Reorganizes Publishing Unit, Cutting Nearly 700 Jobs (Chicago Tribune)
Tribune Co. announced a restructuring of its publishing business Wednesday to focus on its digital efforts and streamline operations, resulting in nearly 700 job losses across the Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times and six other daily newspapers. TVSpy The layoffs, which did not affect the company’s television stations, come at the end of an eventful year for Tribune. The company emerged from bankruptcy in January with a plan to shift focus to its television stations, naming television executive Liguori CEO just weeks later. LA Times / Money & Co The reorganization is “not by any means a Hail Mary pass,” the company’s president and CEO, Robert Liguori, said, stressing that the newspapers are profitable. NYT The cuts, which represent about 6 percent of the company’s 11,000 employees, will affect mostly its business side. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media “Unfortunately, organizing around functional lines rather than maintain what we’re doing locally, there is going to be some staff reductions,” said Liguori. “We are not going to be reducing any of our frontline reporters. Over time there will be some small reductions on the editorial side, but we want to maintain our best-in-class local journalism.” Poynter / MediaWire In its most recent financial report, Tribune noted it had eliminated 360 positions in 2013 across the company, which also has a broadcasting division. The reductions came “primarily in publishing,” the company said. NY Post “The move anticipates a tough 2014,” said Ken Doctor, an analyst and founder of Newsonomics. “Tribune is battening down the hatches, looking at another, similar high single-digit decline in print ads. Massive cutting is the only way to preserve meager profit.”

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Morning Media Newsfeed: 538 Announces Hires | Vargas Leaves Rehab | Tapper Subs for Burnett

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FiveThirtyEight Adds Managing Editor, Others (FishbowlNY)
FiveThirtyEight, the upcoming site to be helmed by Nate Silver, has added to its staff. The big names: Mike Wilson is joining as managing editor and Kate Elazegui is coming aboard as creative director. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media On the writing side: Wall Street Journal “Numbers Guy” Carl Bialik will serve as senior writer for news; the Guardian‘s Harry Enten will serve as senior writer for politics; and Walter Hickey, late of Business Insider, will serve as senior writer for science and lifestyle. TheWrap The new FiveThirtyEight will be focused around five distinct content verticals: Sports, Politics, Economics, Science, and Lifestyle. The verticals will be led by a team of writer/columnists, with additional content from staff writers as well as external contributors. SaintPetersBlog The Tampa Bay Times tends to brag about how often its editors and reporters make their way to and from many of the leading newspapers in the country, such as The New York Times and The Washington Post. But after an interesting announcement on Tuesday, the Tampa Bay Times will have to add ESPN and Nate Silver to the list of poachers of its best talent.

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FiveThirtyEight Adds Managing Editor, Others

Nate Silver GFiveThirtyEight, the upcoming site to be helmed by Nate Silver, has added to its staff. The big names: Mike Wilson is joining as managing editor and Kate Elazegui is coming aboard as creative director. Below are the details, along with the rest of the editorial team, as of now.

  • Wilson most recently served as managing editor of the Tampa Bay Times, Florida’s largest newspaper.
  • Elazegui previously held roles with PentagramNew York Magazine and Vanity Fair. Elazegui will also provide creative direction for Grantland.
  • Carl Bialik has been named senior writer, news. He previously wrote The Wall Street Journal’s ”The Numbers Guy” column.
  • Micah Cohen joins as senior editor. Cohen previously worked with Silver when he was at the New York Times. Cohen will oversee FiveThirtyEight’s blogs.
  • Harry Enten has been named senior writer, politics. Enten most recently worked with The Guardian.
  • Walter Hickey joins as senior writer, science and lifestyle. He comes to the site from Business Insider.

Morning Media Newsfeed: Silver Dings Politico | ONA Announces Honors | AP’s Lewis Suspended


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Nate Silver Previews Site, Hits Politico (Politico / Dylan Byers on Media)
Nate Silver, the statistician who recently joined ESPN from The New York Times, previewed his new website on Friday and dished out some criticisms of the current journalism environment, much of it directed at Politico. Delivering the keynote address at this year’s Online News Association conference in Atlanta, Silver said the new fivethirtyeight.com will be free and will launch “very early next year.” “The idea is that it’s a Web product, first and foremost. I’m sure we’ll build out podcasts and video coverage over time, but really the core challenge is in identifying writers and journalists who have the right critical thinking ability,” Silver said. TheWrap Silver also took a few swipes at Politico, whose coverage of elections and politics he’s often criticized, calling it an example of what journalists shouldn’t do. A recent article assumed that correlation equaled causation, Silver said, in stating that the government shutdown lead to Virginia gubernatorial candidate Terry McAuliffe’s upswing in the polls. TPM / LiveWire Silver said that the way in which the information was presented in the article, not the information itself, was the issue. “It was a fine theory, but instead it was stated as a fact when there was no proof of it whatsoever,” he added.

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Jill Abramson on Politico Piece: ‘I Cried’

Newsweek has a lengthy profile of Jill Abramson — executive editor of The New York Times — up today, and it’s well worth your time. One section we wanted to highlight was Abramson addressing the Politico hit piece, in which anonymous Times staffers criticized her for doing nothing more than acting like their boss. Abramson admitted that the piece impacted her deeply:

‘I cried,’ Abramson tells me. ‘I should say it went right off me, but I’m just being honest. I did cry. But by the next morning, I wasn’t completely preoccupied by it anymore. I had my cry and that was that. And [Times Co. chairman] Arthur Sulzberger came down and was very supportive. He basically said, ‘It goes with the territory. Don’t let it get to you.’” The publisher also invoked what he calls the Second Law of Journalism: ‘It’s not your fault. It’s just your turn.’

No doubt people are foaming at the mouth reading that Abramson cried. “She cried! She’s weak! What a woman.” But we find it refreshingly honest. Good for her. People do cry when they’re hurt! However, it takes someone particularly strong to admit that.

Another section from the Newsweek piece that we wanted to point out is Abramson’s meeting with the lawyer representing Nate Silver. Silver was debating leaving (and he ultimately did) and so the two met to talk about Silver’s future:

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NY Times Sports Editor Disputes Rift With Nate Silver

The “why did Nate Silver really leave The New York Times” drama continues. The Big Lead did some more digging into the situation, and via interviews with six “people familiar with the sports section” of the paper, suggests that Silver left because he didn’t gel with the Times’ sports staff:

This was the picture that was painted: An interest in alternative sports over mainstream sports such as the NFL, an international sports bent in a quest to be the ‘World’s Sports Section’ (ie, heavy Tour de France, Track & Field, Soccer), and a culture of ‘if-we-didn’t-find-him, we-don’t-want-him.’

However, both Silver and Jason Stallman — the Times’ sports editor — said there were no problems. Silver tweeted “There are some inaccurate reports that I didn’t like the NYT sports desk. Actually, thought those guys were great & easy to work with.” Stallaman, in an email to The Big Lead, also dismissed the rumors:

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Morning Media Newsfeed: Silver Dishes on NYT Exit | Bartiromo Bolting CNBC? | NY Post Ailing?


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Nate Silver Went Against The Grain for Some at The Times (NYT / Public Editor’s Journal)
I don’t think Nate Silver ever really fit into the Times culture and I think he was aware of that. He was, in a word, disruptive. Much like the Brad Pitt character in the movie Moneyball disrupted the old model of how to scout baseball players, Nate disrupted the traditional model of how to cover politics. A number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work. The first time I wrote about him I suggested that print readers should have the same access to his writing that online readers were getting. I was surprised to quickly hear by email from three high-profile Times political journalists, criticizing him and his work. They were also tough on me for seeming to endorse what he wrote, since I was suggesting that it get more visibility. FishbowlNY This is all understandable. Old people don’t like change, and writers have egos. And maybe Silver acted a bit too above everyone else and that earned him some pages in the Times’ burn book. HuffPost / The Backstory On Monday afternoon, this reporter asked Silver about the Times public editor’s column, whether he felt constrained by the Times newsroom culture, and if he had enough support from colleagues. “I had plenty of support, I felt, from [executive editor Jill Abramson] and from other key people at the Times,” Silver said. “I don’t really want to dwell too much to my relationships there. It was not — I would say, I love the people at ESPN.” Silver added that any cultural issue was “not a big factor” in his decision. NY Mag / Daily Intelligencer “I’m interested in running a website, building out a business here, and having my opportunity to weigh in on different topics,” Silver said, responding to Times public editor Margaret Sullivan’s comments. “I’m not interested in who I’m getting a beer with. I have plenty of people in my social circles for that.” TheWrap / MediaAlley In a conference call with the press, ESPN president John Skipper said FiveThirtyEight will be similar to Bill Simmons’ Grantland, which is also owned by ESPN. The FiveThirtyEight name and URL were purchased for an undisclosed amount. Previously, Silver owned those rights and licensed them to The New York Times for a three-year contract. Its deal with Silver is a “long-term, multi-year deal.” TVNewser Put another way: If Silver leaves ESPN in a few years, FiveThirtyEight will not be going with him, but rather staying with ESPN and ABC. paidContent Silver stressed that “we’re not pulling back from politics. We’ll probably hire at least one more person to cover politics fulltime” and said that the new site’s only guaranteed coverage areas will be sports, politics and some economics. As for other topics, “if we find the right person, we might hire in that vertical… We’re looking for people who can think, do math and write. Those skills don’t always overlap, so it’s going to be an intense search process for us.” TVNewser Silver’s migration from the Times to ESPN represents more than a new URL — it augurs a sea change in the news business itself, experts say.

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