ESPN Cancels Grantland

Submitted by EastCoast on October 30th, 2015 at 2:08 PM

ESPN has decided to cancel Grantland.

Seth's Tweet summarizes my feelings...


The monopolistic boondoggle by which we forced the market to consume our trash is crumbling. Cancel the good stuff!

— Seth M. Fisher (@Misopogon) October 30, 2015


5th and Long

October 30th, 2015 at 9:56 PM ^

Prior to ESPN he had actually amassed a pretty big and loyal following in the late 90's while writing for AOL's Boston site.  At the time, his humorous merging of pop culture and sports was unique.   He was for sure the up and coming writer and would've landed somewhere if not for ESPN.  That said, there were a lot of opportunities by working for ESPN/Disney including the 30 for 30 series and writing for Jimmy Kimmel's show that he might not have been so available to him without ESPN.




October 30th, 2015 at 4:09 PM ^

Too bad that there isn't a MGoBlog webiste out there for all of sports. Ideally Lowe would jump over there and just get into the weeds (great new podacst by the way on policy, not politics) of basketball. Even at Grantland he had to dumb down (a bit) his content. 

The interviews and content Lowe can get on his podcasts are amazing. Getting a breakdown of SVG's takeover of the Pistons (no real trade possibilities for Monrow) and the whole Jordan play by play with Reddick were great this summer. I loved his interview with Chris Hayes where they just reminisced on the great 80's/90's battles of their favorite teams was fun.

Benoit Balls

October 30th, 2015 at 3:06 PM ^

has long been a Bachelor/Bachelorette fan. Also why they had a RealWorld/ Road Rules Gauntlet article series.  

But, lets not let the facts get in the way of a good story. Damn you corporate interests. BIG MEDIA is ruining our lives. 

Anyhow, the good news is Simmons will get a lot ofo these writers back together under the HBO umbrella.  Some have already gotten new jobs, and Im not sure if there are non-competes or anything, so some may get lost in the shuffle, but I expect something similar sometime soon. I dont think Simmons will be as hands on as he had to be at Grantland though. He will be more of an EIC Emeritus, rather than the day to day Chief Cook and Bottle Washer.  That way he has more time for podcasts and his new show.  


October 30th, 2015 at 3:22 PM ^

How can a non-compete be enforced when someone is fired?  Unless there are severance packages, which I couldn't imagine would run for more than, say, 3 months.

Anyways, I am excited to see if this allows Simmons to start another similarly-themed website under the HBO umbrella.  Judging by their TV programming, HBO execs seem to have much more of a proclivity to support and have patience with well-written content that doesn't necessarily achieve immediately commercial success.

Benoit Balls

October 30th, 2015 at 3:39 PM ^

my point about non competes may have been a bit vague. What I meant was if they dont have non compete clauses with whatever place they land next, so they could do some moonlighting at Simmons new site. I know some (like Rembert) have already started their new non-Simmonsy jobs 


October 30th, 2015 at 4:12 PM ^

Judges are really starting to question the legality and validity of these rules. Basically have realized that forcing someone to sign a non-compete in order to get/keep job is illegal. Judges have said recently that employees must be at a job for X number of years before a non-compete is signed or a bonus/perk must be included with non-compete to make it a real trade (rights for $) and isn't a hostage situation with your job in the balance. 

Autocracy Now

October 30th, 2015 at 3:20 PM ^

Yep, eletions has always been Silver's bread and butter. Some of the other 538 stuff is interesting, but it just doesn't drive the same traffic. That's why I thought 538 was good couched within a bigger platform, like the Times. It didn't need to be a star 365 days a year. 


October 30th, 2015 at 2:21 PM ^

in terms of making $$$ and growing views.

STILL ..... I thought it was something ESPN would keep around.  To use a word from the political sphere, Grantland added some "gravitas" or seriousness to their organization.

Guess they don't value that.

Kind of figures they'd announce this at 2 PM on a Friday too.  Friday news dumps.

Benoit Balls

October 30th, 2015 at 3:10 PM ^

Simmons stated that they were only featured on the ESPN main page an average of 2x per month, and toward the end it was less than that. he also said (I believe, dont have the time to scroll through the podcast to fact check) that something like 65% of their traffic was unique and not from ESPN's main page.  It appears ESPN's main page was not the conduit many expected it to be, and yet the honchos at ESPN tried to use those smaller traffic numbers (versus projections based on the full on ESPN firehose treatment) as fodder for their argument that Grantalnd (and by association, Simmons) were not worth what he was asking

MI Expat NY

October 30th, 2015 at 2:18 PM ^

Inevitable after they canned Bill Simmons.  The site never made any money, I believe.  Hopefully they can at least keep the sports based writers around.  Almost nothing else on is worth reading.  

Imagine 538 will also be gone after the election.

Edit:  I'll also add that it's interesting that they said nothing about the individual contributors.  I wonder if their contracts were with ESPN or Grantland specifically. 


October 30th, 2015 at 2:13 PM ^

What a bizarre announcement. Grantland was a tremendous source of journalism and provided some fantastic content, especially since the ESPN channel has become borderline unwatachable. 


October 30th, 2015 at 2:14 PM ^

I read 100 times more Grantland than Espn's website is just awful. They have great big videos or photos separating everything, nothing is organized, it takes forever to find anything. I stopped going to and I don't miss it. I will miss Grantland. They had some good writers and good analysis. I guess I'm down to just MGoBlog. The rest of the interenet is irrelevant.


October 30th, 2015 at 3:31 PM ^

Where do you go now to look up schedules for the week, standings, etc.?

I never read ESPN articles any more, but it has been my "go to" site for information.


October 30th, 2015 at 2:15 PM ^

Grantland puts out 95% of the worthwhile content on ESPN, at least. I am not very happy about this. Lots of great writers that other outlets should be chomping at the bit to grab. Hopefully, they land on their feet. 


October 31st, 2015 at 4:11 PM ^

Like when they plan obsolescence into products?

Apple does this too. They have a iProduct available at every iPrice-point. Every $50 iDollars.

I could see that happening with content as well. If your organizations offerings start to become too disparate the operating mission, and management styles, organizing priniciples will be stretched too far.

They should have the employees switch places! All Grantland members please report to ESPN, all ESPN members please report to Grantland! Commence!!!!


October 30th, 2015 at 2:16 PM ^

Thankfully for michigan fans we have mgoblog.   However, most outlets that report on sports have turned into a soap opera of preconcieved notions being applied over and over agian to different teams. In my opinion we need more analysis of the strategy withing games and less analysis of the emotional state of players and coaches.