November 05, 2015

"Shuttering of Grantland Hints at Corroding ESPN Culture, Competency, and Gumption": Awful Announcing's finance director on why he thinks ESPN's cancelling of Grantland is, "the network’s dumbest decision in the five years I have professionally been involved in tracking the company". Linked from there, ESPN.com's former ombudsman on the situation.

posted by yerfatma to culture at 03:34 PM - 6 comments

The shuttering of Grantland is unfortunate from my perspective in that, with a couple of exceptions, you could really count on just about anything you read on there being good. The signal to noise ratio was really high, as opposed to at the "mothership" where there is just a whole bunch of crap to wade through to get to anything good.

It was a "home page" of sorts for me (certainly a weekly, if not a daily, visit) -- I know I could get good writing on a variety of sports and other subjects (although I mostly ignored the pop culture stuff). It was like a really well-curated wine or liquor store, where you initially discovered and could continually go back to your favorites but you also knew that the proprietor would have interesting new selections that you could feel confident investing money/time in and that would probably be worth it. Now, with what I assume is or will be a diaspora of the Grantland writers, the convenience factor of having that all in one place is gone. It was really nice to have the one place I could visit to read Mike Goodman on EPL, Zach Lowe n basketball, Bill Barnwell on NFL, or Jonah Keri on baseball.

I think Simmons' signature accomplishment with Grantland was attracting and fostering all of that talent. I could take or leave his columns or his podcasts -- his suspension and then being let go did not change my consumption of Grantland at all. But that was just a great collection of writers -- apparently with very good editors behind the scenes -- and I think it is doubtful we see another site/media organization that has top-3 talent in multiple sports all in the same place.

posted by holden at 03:51 PM on November 05

I thought this bit from the second link was interesting:

"But Grantland represented more than just another media contraction. Sports is a stealth definer of social values, particularly among young people, and ESPN, the self-described World Wide Leader, is sports's 24/7 purveyor on countless radio stations, TV channels and websites. How ESPN covers (or fails to cover) gay and transgender athletes, concussions, domestic abuse, gambling costumed as fantasy leagues, and e-sports, for example, will have an impact on how Americans regard the widening racial, economic, and class divides between them and the gladiatorial castes that perform for them."

posted by yerfatma at 04:04 PM on November 05

Sports is a stealth definer of social values,

1947, man. That's when it became obvious to everyone that sports can help push social change.

posted by grum@work at 04:25 PM on November 05

posted by yerfatma at 08:38 AM on November 06

Stratechery has a nice piece on this event.

posted by billsaysthis at 08:08 PM on November 06

John Skipper responds.

posted by yerfatma at 10:36 AM on November 09

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