ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight Announces Managing Editor, Key Editorial Hires

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ESPN’s FiveThirtyEight Announces Managing Editor, Key Editorial Hires, the definitive website for data-driven journalism, will re-launch in early 2014 in coordination with ESPN. In anticipation of the launch, the editorial team has made a number of key hires to fulfill the vision for the new site, which will be led by Editor-in-Chief Nate Silver.

The new FiveThirtyEight will maintain the innovative and entrepreneurial spirit of the original site Silver founded in 2008, while building on its success around the last presidential elections.  It will be focused around five distinct content verticals: Sports, Politics, Economics, Science, and Lifestyle. The verticals will be led by a team of writer/columnists, with additional content from staff writers as well as external contributors.

The sports, politics and economics verticals will accentuate the coverage that ESPN and FiveThirtyEight are best known for, delivering storytelling that is both compelling and data-driven. The lifestyle and science verticals are the broadest in scope, and will allow FiveThirtyEight to explore topics such as education, health, technology, weather, entertainment, and travel.

“The new FiveThirtyEight will bring more analytics to ESPN’s storytelling in a smart and entertaining fashion.  The site will provide a deep, broad and ambitious approach to data-driven journalism across a spectrum of topics, revealing for readers not just the what, but also the why and how,” said Marie Donoghue, Senior Vice President of Global Strategy, Business Development and Business Affairs at ESPN.

Said Silver: “We’re building our own Moneyball team — an All-Star roster of the best data journalists from best news organizations, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, the Tampa Bay Times, and The Guardian. While the site will take many different approaches toward data journalism, ranging from rigorous number crunching to stellar original reporting, it’s all within the site’s mandate of uncovering meaning and truth amid the sea of data.”

Silver continued: “I’m especially excited by our two newest hires. Mike Wilson, who oversaw the development of several Pulitzer Prize winning stories at the Tampa Bay Times, will provide leadership and integrity as our Managing Editor. And Kate Elazegui will create a compelling visual identity for the site — she knows that great design is at the essence of a great product.”

The editorial team to date includes:

Mike Wilson – Managing Editor

Wilson will oversee and coordinate all editorial activity. He most recently served the managing editor of the Tampa Bay Times, the largest newspaper in Florida, where his writers have won numerous national awards, including the Pulitzer Prize. He has been a reporter, an award-winning feature writer and an editor in a 30-year career.

“I believe FiveThirtyEight is going to be a rich new source of timely and thoughtful analytical journalism and I can’t wait to get started on the project,” said Wilson.

Kate Elazegui – Creative Director, FiveThirtyEight and Grantland

Elazegui will oversee the visual design of the site, with the goal of creating a modern but refined aesthetic that matches the quality of the content on FiveThirtyEight.  She was previously with PentagramNew York Magazine and Vanity Fair. Elazegui will also provide creative direction for ESPN’s Grantland.

Carl Bialik – Senior Writer, News

Bialik will have a broad focus, providing reporting and analysis across sports, economics and other subjects, and concentrating on untangling controversies over data and statistics as they arise in the news cycle. He previously wrote The Numbers Guy column at The Wall Street Journal.

 Micah Cohen – Senior Editor

Cohen will oversee FiveThirtyEight’s blogs, where readers will find quick, data-driven takes on the news each day. Cohen, who previously partnered with Silver on FiveThirtyEight at The New York Times, will also write and report on politics and other topics.

Harry Enten — Senior Writer, Politics

Enten, formerly of The Guardian, will serve as FiveThirtyEight’s lead political writer. Enten will apply the tools of statistics and political science to create differentiating analysis on elections, the behavior of Congress, and other topics.

Walter Hickey – Senior Writer, Science and Lifestyle

Hickey will focus on FiveThirtyEight’s two newest verticals, science and lifestyle, finding creative ways to demonstrate the value of data, mathematics and statistics in everyday life. Hickey was previously with Business Insider.

Silver has established himself as today’s leading statistician through his innovative analyses of political polling. FiveThirtyEight first gained national attention during the 2008 presidential election, when it correctly predicted the results of the presidential election in 49 of 50 states, along with all 35 U.S. Senate races. In 2012, FiveThirtyEight predicted the election outcome in all 50 states. FiveThirtyEight has made Silver the public face of statistical analysis and political forecasting.  He has earned a series of accolades. Most recently, Fast Company chose Silver as No. 1 on their list of the 100 Most Creative People in Business 2013. He was among Vanity Fair’s “The New Establishment: 2013,” alongside Bill Simmons; as well TIME’s 100 Most Influential People of 2009 and Rolling Stone’s 100 Agents of Change. In 2012 and 2013, FiveThirtyEight won Webby Awards as the “Best Political Blog.”



Ana Livia Coelho

Ana Livia Coelho is a Senior Publicist in New York, overseeing FiveThirtyEight as well as ESPN’s Consumer Marketing, Ad Sales, Affiliate Sales, Consumer Products and Research groups. She is a native Brazilian and a graduate of the Indiana University School of Journalism and the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
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