ESPN suspends publication of Grantland
ESPN has suspended the publication of Grantland effective immediately, it announced in a statement Friday.
“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 wrote.
ESPN parted ways with the site’s original editor-in-chief, Bill Simmons, in May, and several writers and staffers have left the site in the past month. Shortly after Simmons's departure, ESPN president John Skipper told SI.com's Richard Deitsch that the network was committed to Grantland for the longterm. Chris Connelly was named interim editor-in-chief of the site on May 27.
“Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun. We are grateful to those who made it so. Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent. Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality. We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain the site these past five months as he returns to his prior role.”
Jim Miller, who has reported extensively on ESPN and Grantland, reports that all of the site’s writers will have their contracts honored and that ESPN’s intent is to use them on its other platforms. An ESPN PR staffer later confirmed the report on Twitter.
Grantland launched in June 2011 as a Simmons-led vertical covering sports and pop culture. The site, known for its original, creative content, humor and analysis, and longform feature writing was nominated for three National Magazine Awards in 2015.
Simmons, who now works for HBO, has been vocal since his departure about ESPN and what he saw as a lack of support for Grantland.
Simmons also tweeted about the site on Friday after ESPN made its announcement.
I loved everyone I worked with at G and loved what we built. Watching good/kind/talented people get treated so callously = simply appalling.— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 30, 2015