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ESPN is pondering the future of wonk haven FiveThirtyEight and is considering “a variety of options” for the website that Nate Silver sold to the network in 2013.
“FiveThirtyEight is a tremendous asset to ESPN, and together we’ve created exceptional content,” ESPN said in a statement on Thursday. “We are exploring, with Nate, a variety of options for the future, and any discussion of exactly what that might look like would be premature.”
ESPN’s statement was triggered by a report in TheBigLead that the network is considering offloading the property, and has received “significant interest” from outside buyers, including the owner of The Atlantic magazine. The site could also be absorbed into another part of the larger Disney/ABC apparatus, according to the report. (A spokeswoman for Atlantic Media declined to comment on the record.)
FiveThirtyEight, which was once licensed by The New York Times, has over time added coverage of culture, science and health to its bread and butter of politics and sports.
ESPN is undergoing a whirlwind of change, which helps explain the potential timing of a sale. Recently departed ESPN president John Skipper oversaw the purchase of the property. Separately on Thursday, CNN president Jeff Zucker said he has no plans to leave the network to take over for Skipper.
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