Grantland will suspend publishing after four years

ByABC News
October 30, 2015, 2:38 PM

— -- Grantland, a sports and pop culture website started by ESPN in 2011, will suspend publishing, the company announced Friday.

"After careful consideration, we have decided 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 said in a statement.

The site began as the brainchild of editor-in-chief Bill Simmons, who left ESPN earlier this year. Simmons is currently preparing for an HBO show and has a podcast. Several other editors left recently, including editorial director Dan Fierman. Chris Connelly replaced Simmons as the interim editor-in-chief.

"Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun," the ESPN statement said. "We are grateful to those who made it so. Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent.

"Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality. We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain the site these past five months as he returns to his prior role.

"Despite this change, the legacy of smart long-form sports story-telling and innovative short form video content will continue, finding a home on many of our other ESPN platforms."

ESPN said that two other sites it owns, FiveThirtyEight and The Undefeated, remain unaffected. It also said that all writer contracts will be honored and that writers would appear on other ESPN platforms.