ESPN Is Shutting Down Grantland After Bill Simmons Exit

Grantland being shut down by ESPN

ESPN is shutting down the Grantland sports and pop culture blog that was founded by commentator Bill Simmons in 2011.

“After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise,” ESPN said Friday in a statement.

The blog has been hailed for its smart storytelling in the digital media space.

ESPN has been cutting some of its programs and subsidiaries as part of a cost-cutting period during a time of slowing subscriber numbers. In early October, the network fired just under 300 staffers.

“I loved everyone I worked with at G and loved what we built,” Simmons said on Twitter. “Watching good/kind/talented people get treated so callously = simply appalling.”

Simmons hired a number of prominent magazine editors and writers to help launch Grantland. He left ESPN in May after his contract expired and has since signed with HBO.

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He was previously suspended for three weeks after calling National Football League Commission Roger Goodell a liar.

All current writers will work through the end of their contracts. The website lists 39 editorial employees and contributors.

Grantland articles will remain online and ESPN will retain the name for possible future use.

Nate Silver’s data-driven series FiveThirtyEight will continue with ESPN.

“Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports storytelling and innovative short-form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms,” the network said.