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Grantland


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i doubt simmons did much editing. i think what he did was bring in a lot of interesting people (to flatter an idea of himself as the kind of person who would bring in a lot of interesting people) and stay out of their way--i mean what would bill simmons have to say to a charlie pierce, wesley morris or brian phillips? all the stuff that he touched directly was the least interesting stuff: wrestling, endless idiotic mailbags, patriot/celtics/red sox fanboyism, general laddishness etc. the problem probably was that the people who were interested in simmons (the reason espn wanted to give him his own thing initially) weren't largely interested in what made grantland interesting (all the other cultural stuff) and so readership fell far short of payroll.

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I never understood what Grantland was supposed to be, or how it existed. I'd read articles there and then think, OK, ESPN financed this because...Bill Simmons is that critical to their online brand?

 

Loved the pop culture pieces though.

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How it existed: advertising, like most websites.

 

Why? It seemed a good idea to put long-form sports and pop culture articles together. I don't know if it failed, or if ESPN decided to do something different with its resources in the absence of Simmons.

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There's probably a good market for people who can create the equivalent of an online salon. With interesting people offering comments and observations. Esp for an outfit like ESPN which would like to broaden its base for the inevitable a la carte marketplace

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But that doesn't negate the value of the concept to ESPN. It may question whether they want to go with Simmons, somebody else, or rethink the whole concept. Their gains in women and other demographics have been impressive in recent years

 

I'm likening it to sites like Quartz (QZ) which aggregates interesting articles and editorials from many points of view.

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There's probably a good market for people who can create the equivalent of an online salon. With interesting people offering comments and observations. Esp for an outfit like ESPN which would like to broaden its base for the inevitable a la carte marketplace

 

I thought that was MFF.

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