FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver expects to leave ABC News amid layoffs

Nate Silver, founder and editor-in-chief of the data-driven news site FiveThirtyEight, said Tuesday he expects to leave ABC News as the layoffs upset its parent company, The Walt Disney Company.

Mr. Silver, who started FiveThirtyEight in 2008 and was affiliated with The New York Times from 2010 to 2013, said: on Twitter that Disney’s layoffs “significantly affected” the site.

“I’m kind of sad and disappointed right now. We’ve been at Disney for almost 10 years. “My contract is up soon and I expect to leave eventually.”

Mr. Silver indicated that he had started having talks about other opportunities, because he was concerned about “an outcome like this.”

In a statement, ABC News said it has remained dedicated to data journalism with a primary focus on politics, economics and enterprise reporting.

“This streamlined structure will allow us to be more aligned with our priorities for the 2024 election and beyond,” the company said. “We are grateful for the valuable contributions of the team members who will be leaving the organization and know that they will continue to make an important impact on the future of journalism.”

Three people familiar with the site’s cuts, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said more than half of FiveThirtyEight’s 35 jobs have been eliminated.

A couple of people said that Mr. Silver, whose contract expires in the summer, owns some of the intellectual property rights used by FiveThirtyEight.

Internal Slack messages in which Mr. Silver told employees he expected to leave were leaked to Hollywood Reporter Tuesday.

ABC News said it would retain the FiveThirtyEight brand name.

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On Tuesday, Mr. Silver, who rose to national fame with his accurate predictions about the 2008 and 2012 presidential elections, apologized on Twitter to those affected. “I am very proud of the work of the FiveThirtyEight team,” he said. “It has never been easy.”

The New York Times licensed FiveThirtyEight’s content from 2010 to 2013, focusing mainly on politics, though it also provided nuanced analyzes of numbers for sports, economics, and other disciplines. In 2013, the franchise moved to ESPN, the sports empire controlled by The Walt Disney Company. He was Acquired by ABC News in 2018.

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