FiveThirtyEight creator Nate Silver, who has been writing a blog of the same name for The New York Times, sold his company to ESPN, reports TVNewser.com.
Silver said ESPN bought the FiveThirtyEight name and Web domain as part of a deal to have him join the network. That means that if Silver decides to leave ESPN, FiveThirtyEight will stay with ESPN and ABC.
“Our goal here is to make Nate comfortable and happy that this is his new long-term home, so he doesn’t have to do this every four years,” ESPN President John Skipper said. "We really care about smart, talented individuals who can make a difference, and we think that’s what Nate can do for us.”
Silver had a licensing deal with The Times, which allowed him to keep the rights to the name and domain. It had been anticipated that Silver would work out a similar deal with ESPN, so the company’s outright sale came as a surprise to industry watchers, the piece notes.
In announcing the acquisition, ESPN reported: "Silver will serve as the editor-in-chief of the site and will build a team of journalists, editors, analysts and contributors in the coming months. Much like Grantland, which ESPN launched in 2011, the site will retain an independent brand sensibility and editorial point-of-view, while interfacing with other websites in the ESPN and Disney families."