Statistician Nate Silver to Leave New York Times for ESPN

-By Warner Todd Huston

For the last six years Nate Silver made himself a household name among political wonks for correctly predicting the 2008 and 2012 election cycles in The New York Times, but now Silver is reportedly preparing to leave the Times for ESPN to pursue more sports-related work.

A July 19 report in the paper reveals that insider information indicates that Silver will be announcing a switch to the sports cable TV network maybe as soon as next week.

The Times speculates that Silver will be a recurring commentator on the new sports show that Keith Olbermann will host on Disney-owned ESPN2. Silver is also expected to have an on-air role during upcoming election cycles on ABC News, also owned by Disney.

Neither ESPN nor Mr. Silver have commented on the possible move but insiders requesting anonymity told the Times that Silver’s new arrangement could be announced as early as July 22.

The move would not be surprising. After the 2012 election cycle, Silver was blessed with a multitude job offers and his three-year contract with the paper expires in August.

Silver’s FiveThirtyEight Blog became the site to visit to handicap the 2012 election cycle and quickly became a major traffic draw for The New York Times website. In November of 2012, the New Republic reported that about 20 percent of the paper’s web traffic was driven by the FiveThirtyEight Blog alone.

But Silver has made no bones about the fact that he’d prefer to get back to doing more sports related writing. He first made his mark as a sports statistician and has said in several interviews that he would like to get back to his first love.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s,, and, as well as,,,,, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

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