In a move that is unsurprising and sadly shitty, ESPN announced that it would be suspending its publication of Grantland on Friday.
Effective immediately we are suspending the publication of Grantland. After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.
Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun. We are grateful to those who made it so. Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent. Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality. We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain the site these past five months as he returns to his prior role.
Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports story-telling and innovative short form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms.
The move to halt Grantland isn’t a shock given the moves that ESPN has made over the past year. Bill Simmons, Grantland’s founding editor and brainchild, was summarily dropped by ESPN back in May and the World Wide Leader in Sports has been cutting costs and “talent” including Keith Olbermann and Colin Cowherd as it tries to reorient itself in an ever-changing media landscape. Considering Grantland’s “relatively modest traffic“, the decision to suspend the site is more or less in line with ESPN’s other cost-cutting and streamlining measures.
While it may not amount to much, the internet immediately went into mourning for the loss of one of ESPN’s most quality properties.
Grantland was one of those places that made you think, “Wish I thought to write that.” What a shame. Best to those guys
— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) October 30, 2015
One of the best things about Grantland was reading articles about sports that didn't feel like they were written by date rapists.
— Max Silvestri (@maxsilvestri) October 30, 2015
Did anyone make a "Grantland is gone but @stephenasmith still has a job" observation yet?
— Jimmy Kempski (@JimmyKempski) October 30, 2015
I think the sad part about Grantland is that it will make future Grantlands less likely to ever develop.
— Shane Ryan (@ShaneRyanHere) October 30, 2015
.@Grantland33 introduced me to many great writers. Very sorry to see it go.
— Seth Meyers (@sethmeyers) October 30, 2015
Grantland was the home of some of my favourite writers. No disrespect to other ESPNers, but Grantland gave that place more of a soul.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) October 30, 2015
ESPN's handling of @Grantland33 and its staff post-Simmons has been, to be blunt, a train wreck. That staff deserved much better.
— Richard Deitsch (@richarddeitsch) October 30, 2015
ESPN will honor its existing contracts with Grantland’s writers.
All Grantland writers will have their contracts honored. The intent is to use the sportswriters on other ESPN platforms.
— Mike Soltys (@espnmikes) October 30, 2015
I loved everyone I worked with at G and loved what we built. Watching good/kind/talented people get treated so callously = simply appalling.
— Bill Simmons (@BillSimmons) October 30, 2015