Nate Silver sat down this week for a conversation with the man who many see as the model for his new FiveThirtyEight website at ESPN. Silver appeared on the “B.S. Report” podcast with Bill Simmons, who runs the ESPN-owned Grantland.com, and described his plans for the new site’s launch for early next year.
Looking forward to 2014, Silver said he expects to covering not only the midterm elections but also the New York-based Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics in Russia. He also revealed that before the site launches, he plans to write about the New York City mayoral race, the Washington Post’s sale and other topics for his “temporary home” at Grantland. Silver said he’s begun to make offers to potential contributors to the site, which is expected to have a larger staff than the two-person team that ran his previous venture on The New York Times’ website.
Using a sports metaphor, Silver said that unlike many baseball or basketball general managers who make “short-term decisions,” ESPN “invests in a product for the long term.” With the 2016 presidential election on the horizon, he sees his relationship with ESPN as a “three, four, five, multi-year play.”
He also addressed the initial rumors that he would be appearing on TV regularly, possibly as part of Keith Olbermann’s new show. “This is not a TV play, first and foremost” Silver confirmed, but rather a “content website.” He did say that the potential for him to report on-air for ABC News in the coming year is there.
Comparing his vision to other unnamed TV stations and websites, Silver said, “we don’t want the dumb-downed version of things, because we think the devil’s in the details.”
Watch video below, via Grantland Network:
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