ESPN Suspends Grantland: Staff Reacts With Shock, Sadness
"Well that's the first time I've ever found out I was laid off via Twitter," one Grantland staffer wrote.
ESPN is "suspending" Grantland, the popular website created by Bill Simmons. Staff members took to Twitter almost immediately after the announcement and shared their surprise and sadness over the decision.
At least one Grantland staffer claimed to have found out over social media.
Well that's the first time I've ever found out I was laid off via Twitter— Michael Baumann (@MJ_Baumann) October 30, 2015
Another writer just couldn't take what was unfolding.
/turns phone off— Zach Lowe (@ZachLowe_NBA) October 30, 2015
You're all very nice. Thanks. We miss Grantland too, and we'll all keep writing stuff somewhere else until the 40th anniversary reunion tour— Ben Lindbergh (@BenLindbergh) October 30, 2015
Best gig I ever had.— Kirk Goldsberry (@kirkgoldsberry) October 30, 2015
What a fucking run we had.— Jordan Ritter Conn (@jordanconn) October 30, 2015
Simmons called the move "simply appalling."
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
Simmons, a longtime ESPN personality, was dropped by the network in May. On his new podcast, which started weeks ago, Simmons said ESPN never cared about Grantland.
"Websites are like plants, you got to water them," he said earlier this month. "Unfortunately, ESPN is good at building stuff and creating stuff, launching stuff, but there comes a point where you have to decide what does this mean, how can we get from point A to point B to point C to point D to point E. We weren't even on their mobile page until I think January. We just had this tiny little hyperlink at the bottom of the ESPN.com mobile site."
Simmons said Grantland was understaffed, but everyone did what they could to make it a success. "People just really gave a shit," he said. "And they really worked as hard as possible to get that site up and to make it good."