ESPN's Nate Silver Site to Debut on March 17

Nate Silver
Nate Silver
 Courtesy of ESPN

Nearly eight months after his surprise The New York Times exit for ESPN, Nate Silver's new website officially has a launch date of March 17. 

The statistician and blogger unveiled the news during a panel on Saturday at the South by Southwest Festival. Silver was speaking on a panel with Bill Simmons, whose own ESPN pop-culture site, Grantland, was launched in June 2011.

The new version of FiveThirtyEight has been touted as a expansion of his popular Times blog to variety of topics -- sports, economics and education among them -- as well focusing on politics. Silver has outlined a plan for a site that aims to deliver substantive data-driven journalism. "Let's say fewer things but be more correct about them," he said at a journalism conference in Atlanta last October. 

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Since Silver officially joined ESPN on July 22 of last year, over two dozen reporters, analysts, editors and visual journalists have joined the site.

Hires include Wall Street Journal economics reporter Ben Casselman, The Guardian data journalist Mona Chalabi and visual reporter Ritchie King, previously of Atlantic Media's business site Quartz. Deputy editor Andrei Scheinkman was hired away from The New York Times, where he had worked with Silver on FiveThirtyEight.

At The New York Times, where Silver's blog had been hosted since 2010, FiveThirtyEight became a top online destination for those seeking to follow aggregated polling returns during the 2012 presidential election. (THR described the blog as "Hollywood's Xanax" for liberals during the election cycle, since it consistently showed President Obama besting GOP nominee Mitt Romney in state-by-state returns.) 

Silver feuded with pundits -- and the very idea of punditry -- during that election cycle, taking to task news outlets that specialized in horse race election coverage and famously offering a $1,000 bet to MSNBC host Joe Scarborough, who had challenged his findings. The writer published a book, The Signal and the Noise, covering similar terrain, that was released in September 2012. 

Recently, Silver waded into the realm of pop-culture to guest on ESPN's sister network ABC to discuss the "formula" for what makes a best picture Oscar winner. 

Debbie Emery contributed to this article.

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