ABC News has announced that it will take control of Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight from corporate sibling ESPN. It was reported earlier this year that ESPN was looking at selling FiveThirtyEight but even then there was the possibility that ABC News would take over the venture.
“In a time when politics has never been more fascinating, FiveThirtyEight brings clarity and insight to what’s really going on,” said ABC News president James Goldston in a statement. “With political news front and center every day and the 2018 midterms on the horizon, Nate Silver and his brilliant team truly enhance what we can offer our audience.”
“This is an exciting move for FiveThirtyEight and our staff. With ABC we’ll be able to expand our political coverage at a crucial time, while maintaining a relationship with ESPN for our sports coverage. [ABC News president] James [Goldston] has a real vision for how FiveThirtyEight can contribute to ABC’s news and election coverage, and we’re looking forward to building upon what we’ve created with ESPN,” said Silver in a statement. “We’re looking forward to getting to work immediately as we prepare for the 2018 midterms.”
Connor Schell, ESPN’s executive vice president of content, said in a statement, “FiveThirtyEight has been a tremendous asset to ESPN since Nate and the team joined us in 2013 and we are thrilled about their new home at ABC News. I am incredibly proud of the work we’ve done together and pleased FiveThirtyEight will remain a part of The Walt Disney Company.”
“As storytelling around data and analytics remain an important way that ESPN serves sports fans every day, our team will continue to utilize Nate and the FiveThirtyEight experts to allow fans to benefit from their sports content.”
Nate Silver has already had a history of appearing on ABC News to provide data analysis and was a part of ABC’s 2016 Election Night coverage.
FiveThirtyEight has had several homes since its founding in 2008. It was first Silver’s independent website but it was then licensed by the New York Times in 2010. In 2013, ESPN announced that they had bought the venture. Under ESPN’s leadership, the website expanded its focus from just politics to also sports and popular culture. The website also expanded its staff.