Nate Silver, the statistical analyst who confounded many political pundits by accurately forecasting the last two presidential elections, confirmed today that he was leaving the New York Times and taking his award-winning website, FiveThirtyEight.com, to ESPN. In 2008, Silver, who initially established his analytical expertise as a baseball statistician, dug deep into the sea of presidential-election polls and successfully predicted the results in 49 of 50 states. He brought his blog to the Times in 2010, and in 2012, he improved upon his 2008 record, nailing all 50 states.
At ESPN, Silver will be editor-in-chief of a new FiveThirtyEight site, similar to the arrangement that the company has with Bill Simmons and his Grantland website. In fact, Silver himself recently tweeted: “Grantland’s a model for what new 538 will look like. Independent editorial point-of-view. We’ll be doing some hiring, building a great team.”
ESPN is a natural home for the sports-minded Silver, who will also be a valuable resource for ABC during the election season. “This is a dream job for me,” Silver said in a statement. “I’m excited to expand FiveThirtyEight’s data-driven approach into new areas, while also reuniting with my love of sports. I’m thrilled that we’re going to be able to create jobs for a great team of journalists, writers and analysts. And I think that I’ve found the perfect place to do it. The variety and quality of the assets ESPN and ABC News presented to me was compelling and unparalleled. I can’t wait to get started.” READ FULL STORY