ESPN pulls the plug on Grantland – Los Angeles Times
Well, that didn’t take long.
Just five months after parting ways with star personality Bill Simmons, ESPN has decided to put an end to Grantland, the sports/pop culture website Simmons founded in 2011.
“Effective immediately we are suspending the publication of Grantland,” the network said in a statement on 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.
“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.
“Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports story-telling and innovative short-form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms.”
Simmons responded on Twitter, calling the move “apalling.”
ESPN plans to honor the contracts with its Grantland writers, and some of the sports-related Grantland content will apear elsewhere on the network’s website. Grantland archives will continue to appear on the main ESPN site as well.
Earlier this month, ESPN laid off 300 employees as a cost-cutting measure.
Simmons is now with HBO and is to host a weekly talk show starting next year.