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Numbers Guru Nate Silver Joins ESPN

Will Run FiveThirtyEight.com as Standalone Site; Contribute to ABC News 7/22/2013 11:45 AM Eastern

Nate Silver, the statistics-driven political blogger, has joined ESPN in a multifaceted role in which he’ll appear across a variety of ESPN and ABC News platforms and bring his FiveThirtyEight website under the World Wide Leader's umbrella.

Silver will serve as editor in chief of the website new incarnation, which will return its to its former FiveThirtyEight.com address. Since 2010, the site — widely known for accurately predicting the electoral outcome in all 50 states in last year’s presidential election — had been hosted on the website of The New York Times.

Much like ESPN's pop-culture website Grantland, FiveThirtyEight will focus on more than sports, including economics, culture, science and technology. During the 2014 and 2016 elections, FiveThirtyEight will provide data-driven coverage including forecasts, as the site has been doing for previous elections.

It will retain an independent brand sensibility and editorial point of view, while interfacing with other ESPN- and Disney-owned websites.

Silver will also have a presence across ESPN's other platforms, including television (one of those is expected to be Keith Olbermann’s upcoming late-night series on ESPN2, Olbermann). He will also have a role with ABC News during elections and other major political events.

"Nate is one of the country's brightest talents and his insight, journalistic integrity and creativity — all traits essential for creating compelling, quality content — have awed and entertained diverse audiences,” John Skipper, president, ESPN, and co-chair, Disney Media Networks, said. “Nate brings a unique fan base to ESPN, where he will curate a cross-platform, cross-discipline experience with a fresh take on the intersection of sports, culture, technology, economics and politics that will be provocative and completely different than anything else in the marketplace today."

Margaret Sullivan, the public editor at the Times, said the paper pitched hard to get him to stay but noted he didn’t “ever really fit into the Times culture” and that “a number of traditional and well-respected Times journalists disliked his work.”

Silver first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election, when he correctly predicted the results of the presidential election in 49 of 50 states, along with all 35 U.S. Senate races. In 2012, FiveThirtyEight predicted the election outcome in all 50 states.

Silver authored the New York Times bestseller The Signal and the Noise: Why So Many Predictions Fail — but Some Don't.

September