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Posts Tagged ‘Nate Silver’

The Evening Ticker: Smith, Silver, Pivot

  • The new FiveThirtyEight launched today via ESPN with a 3,500-word manifesto from founder Nate Silver, who rose to prominence as a political-data guru ahead of the 2008 election. The site will cover politics, economics, science, life, and sports. Silver writes: “It’s time for us to start making the news a little nerdier.”

  • ABC has the Oscars, NBC has the Golden Globes, now Pivot will be the broadcast home for the Peabody Awards. This year’s honorees for meritorious service by broadcasters, cable and Webcasters will be announced April 2 with the ceremony held May 19. Pivot will blend highlights from the ceremony with interviews with award recipients, airing at a later date.

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This Week In Lists: Eligible Bachelors, Biggest News Stories

MuirGotham Magazine counts down New York’s 100 most eligible bachelors. Among the TV news personalities recognized: ABC’s David Muir, Fox’s Rupert Murdoch, CBS and PBS anchor Charlie Rose, Fox News anchor Shepard Smith and ESPN’s Nate Silver. See all of the eligible bachelors, here.

Meanwhile, TV Guide‘s Stephen Battaglio counts down the 60 biggest news moments of all time. The assassination of JFK, the Moon landing and the 9/11 attacks all made the list, but there are some other surprises. Read the full list here.

The Weekend Ticker: Hurricanes & Sharks, Silver & Politics, Press & Free Speech

  • The Weather Channel is counter-programming Discovery’s “Shark Week” with theme programming of its own: “Hurricane Week.” There will be a slew of programming related to the powerful Summer storms. Details below.

  • The Financial Times talks to Nate Silver about moving to ESPN, and in the process he says that CNN is at a disadvantage in the cable news space because “the energy in politics is on the extremes.”

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The PM Ticker: 538, NewsChannel 8, Hall

  • Could there be yet another national cable news channel coming down the pike? TVSpy reports on Allbritton’s sale of local TV stations to Sinclair, and the possible emergence of a national version of NewsChannel 8.

  • MSNBC’s Tamron Hall doesn’t need a stinking chauffeur. Like her NBC colleague Al Roker, Hall’s preferred method of transportation is bicycle. Her staff made an Instagram video of her leaving 30 Rock. Watch it below.

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Brian Stelter to Guest Host ‘Reliable Sources’

New York Times media reporter Brian Stelter will host an upcoming edition of CNN’s “Reliable Sources,” The Washington Post‘s Erik Wemple reports. As CNN looks for a permanent replacement for Howard Kurtz, who recently joined Fox News, Stelter will host August 11. In the meantime, he will avoid covering CNN, as well as Fox News and MSNBC.

Wemple speculates on what the guest-hosting gig might mean for Stelter:

Whatever the outcome of Stelter’s tryout, it’s unlikely to advance the story of the New York Times’s brain drain to television outlets. Earlier this year, the paper lost reporters Jeff Zeleny and Susan Saulny to ABC News and just last week lost statistician Nate Silver to ESPN-cum-ABC News. That’s not a trajectory for Stelter. “I would not leave the Times for a television job,” says Stelter. Perhaps that wouldn’t be an issue: Over his time hosting “Reliable Sources,” Kurtz held down full-time work covering the media and Washington, first at The Post and later at the Daily Beast/Newsweek, and contributed to the Daily Download. Over the years, he occasionally drew fire from critics for conflicts of interest stemming from his various loyalties.

This week’s guest host of “Reliable Sources” will be former CNN Washington bureau chief Frank Sesno, who currently works as director of George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.

Stelter is the author of “Top of the Morning: Inside the Cutthroat World of Morning TV.” In a MediaBeat interview earlier this year, we asked him if he’d be interested in hosting his own media criticism show. Watch his answer after the jump.  Read more

Why Nate Silver is Such a Hot Commodity

Nate Silver’s migration from the New York Times to ESPN represents more than a new URL – it augurs a sea change in the news business itself, experts say.

Silver’s acclaimed political blog, fivethirtyeight, will expand to sports, weather and entertainment, among other areas, as part of its analytics-driven venue at espn.com, he told reporters yesterday in a conference call.

Though the focus at this point is the blog, expect to see Silver on ESPN and ABC News, especially at election season. Regardless, the blog itself has the muscle to alter the paradigm in news reportage, says Jane Hall, an associate professor in American University’s School of Communication.

“The new buzzwords in the future of journalism are ‘data driven’ and ‘visualization of data,’” Hall says. “Silver brought tremendous credibility and proved himself with his political blog. To branch out to other areas could be very exciting.

“You can do a lot of analysis of data that is credible, if you do it right. A new paradigm could be a very good thing, but I still believe in shoe-leather reporting. You still need to talk to people, face to face, to see what’s on their minds.”

Alex S. Jones, director of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy – and a loyal Timesman – says Silver’s methodology will become a trend because “he’s not the only genius in the world. There will be a lot of people trying to out-Nate Nate.”

Using metrics for weather is a great thing, Jones says, but applying it to sports would be “depressing. If you knew, at the beginning of the season, that the Yankees would lose, it takes away the mystery, the uncertainty.”

Moreover, if Silver, a former baseball numbers wonk, is as accurate with sports prognosticating as he is with politics, “he’ll make it impossible for bookies to make a living,” Jones warns. “People will be less likely to make stupid bets.”

Bryant Gumbel, host of HBO’s “Real Sports,” isn’t convinced that Silver, whom he labels as “a smart guy with a lot of talent,” will be an actual handicapper.

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Nate Silver Sold FiveThirtyEight To ESPN

FiveThirtyEight creator Nate Silver didn’t just leave the New York Times to join ESPN (and ABC News), he sold his company to them.

On a conference call this afternoon, Silver confirmed that ESPN acquired the FiveThirtyEight name and web domain as part of the deal to have him join the company. 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.

“Our goal here is to make Nate comfortable and happy that this is his new long-term home, so he doesn’t have to do this every four years,” ESPN president John Skipper said. “We really care about smart, talented individuals who can make a difference, and we think that’s what Nate can do for us.”

Silver had a licensing deal with the Times, letting the newspaper host FiveThirtyEight on his site, but ultimately with Silver retaining the rights to the name and domain. It was expected that his ESPN deal would be structured the same way, so it was surprising that the Disney-owned channel had acquired the brand outright. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.

ESPN Makes Big Bets Amid Discontent

ESPN has made a pair of big, splashy hires in the least two weeks, securing Keith Olbermann for a new nightly talk show on ESPN2, and the expected addition of Nate Silver and his FiveThirtyEight blog in the coming days.

Their additions have boosted morale at the Bristol CT-based sports giant, according to a staffer there, with people getting excited for the buzzworthy additions. That said, there is discontent brewing inside the company among some employees, and the additions of Olbermann and Silver are in some respects exacerbating the problem.

First, ESPN’s signature journalism program “Outside The Lines,” was unceremoniously demoted to an earlier timeslot on ESPN2 last week. Sports Illustrated‘s Richard Deitsch has more on that decision. “OTL” was an iconic program for ESPN, securing Emmy nominations and producing high-quality sports journalism like no other program on the channel. Now, it will be on ESPN’s little sibling, in a timeslot not familiar to many viewers.

Second: ESPN laid off hundreds of employees in May, in its biggest reorganization in years. A disproportionate number of the laid off staffers were long-time employees of the company, who now find themselves out of work in central Connecticut. At the time the justification for the restructuring was that the company had gotten bloated, and needed to reorganize around more forward-looking units. ESPN’s still-in-construction multimillion dollar “SportsCenter” studio was also cited as a reason to trim costs.

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Exploring Huffington’s MSNBC Guest Hosting Gig

huffington_11-17.jpgAs first reported on TVNewser, Arianna Huffington will guest host The Rachel Maddow Show tonight on MSNBC.

Huffington writes about some of the guests being lined up, including Bill Maher, Google CEO Eric Schmidt and FiveThirtyEight.com’s Nate Silver.

But the idea of Huffington guest hosting on MSNBC has raised some eyebrows and generated comments around the Web.

Last April, questions arose about whether she was being kept off the NBC networks during her book tour. Huffington had famously feuded with Tim Russert and his wife, Maureen Orth, for nearly 15 years. Her delayed and distant comments after Russert’s death in June drew more attention.

So what’s changed at NBC? Seems like bygones are being left as bygones. An MSNBC spokesperson tells TVNewser: “We’re thrilled to have Arianna filling in for Rachel tonight.”

Huffington guested on Maddow’s Friday program, and the interview included an awkward Huffington misquote about drowning a baby. Click continued to see the clip…

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