Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight will be kissing the gunner’s daughter, according to The Daily Beast’s “Confider” media newsletter on Monday evening. As ABC News joins the rest of the news industry in making expense cuts, Silver, who gained notoriety as the statistics whiz who correctly predicted the 2008 presidential election, is reportedly in danger of losing his job.
The publication, which has never made a profit, is being reviewed by the head of the news division, Kim Godwin, according to the Beast. “The oft-aggressive Silver, who has come under increased scrutiny for his site’s polling selections, now faces an unclear future,” said the Beast.
Following the 2022 midterm elections, Silver’s FiveThirtyEight and the rest of the national political media came under heavy fire. Prior to the election, the main media narrative predicted a “red wave” that would give the GOP majority in the House and Senate. When no such “red wave” occurred, many on the left expressed outrage and accused the media of peddling a story that diverted resources to a place where they may not have been necessary.
After Silver’s contract with ABC expires this summer, a final decision regarding the future of FiveThirtyEight is expected, according to The Beast. Along with numerous sources endorsing the dynamic, The Beast claimed that FiveThirtyEight’s failure to fill important positions is telling: “Key positions at FiveThirtyEight, such as managing editor (Micah Cohen left last year for the data website Stacker), politics editor (Sarah E. Frostenson left for The Washington Post), and sports editor, have not been backfilled (Sara Ziegler was poached by The New York Times). According to sources who spoke to Confider, ABC’s lack of interest in creating a subscription company around FiveThirtyEight has been a “lost opportunity” that could have made the website profitable for Disney. But instead, ABC might try to sell the magazine.”
Politics and sports news website Silver’s website had previously generated headlines regarding a sale. According to two people with knowledge of the issue, Silver had discussions about a sale with both The Atlantic and The Athletic in 2017, the Beast reported.
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