ESPN announced Friday that it was suspending Grantland, the sports and pop-culture vanity website started by Bill Simmons in 2011.
After the news got out, Simmons took to Twitter to bash ESPN’s decision.
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
In shutting down Grantland, ESPN cited the need to “direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.”
ESPN has said Grantland writers will have their contracts honored, and that its intent is to hire many of the former employees to write for other ESPN platforms. An ESPN source confirmed this to Business Insider, noting that much of the long-form content that defined Grantland will continue on ESPN.com.
Simmons left ESPN in May when it decided to not renew his contract and took him off all platforms for the final five months of his contract. He is now at HBO, where he has launched a new podcast and is working on a new show that will air in 2016.
In the months following Simmons’ departure, numerous reports have suggested uncertainty over the future of the site because Simmons brought in the vast majority of traffic.
jesus, Grantland had *half* the traffic of Deadspin pic.twitter.com/Aj9MBbU2FN
— uɐɯssnS ʇʇɐW (@suss2hyphens) October 30, 2015
The Big Lead reported that some Grantland staff members may pivot to The Undefeated, a new ESPN venture focused on the intersection of race and sports. An ESPN source also told Business Insider that the network is still committed to The Undefeated and FiveThirtyEight.com, Nate Silver’s website that ESPN owns.