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Whitlock dumped from The Undefeated

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Jun 12, 2015.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

  2. TheSportsPredictor

    TheSportsPredictor Well-Known Member

    No longer undefeated.
    SFIND, TGO157 and Mr. Sunshine like this.
  3. CD Boogie

    CD Boogie Well-Known Member

    The only person stupid enough to think this was a good idea was John Skipper. Who in their right mind looks at Whitlock and sees a leader? The whole thing was a laughable proposition.
  4. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Turns out that Whitlock isn't actually Black.
  5. LongTimeListener

    LongTimeListener Well-Known Member

    I think Mike Wise is, though.
  6. Inky_Wretch

    Inky_Wretch Well-Known Member

    Dumping him from his pet project, but keeping him for other stuff sure smells like "We have a contract and don't want to get sued, so we can't outright fire him."
  7. Drip

    Drip Active Member

    Whitlock's ego needed to be checked a long time ago. The project is a good one. I'm not so sure if Carter is the guy to carry it out but here's wishing the best to all involved.
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  8. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

  9. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    Yeah, there's no way Whitlock can be an editor. Reading his manifesto was high humor at its best.
  10. BDC99

    BDC99 Well-Known Member

    This was not unexpected.

    Greg Howard butt hurt | Page 2 | SportsJournalists.com

  11. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    New York Mag on the "messy saga of ESPN's "Black Grantland":

    In the ESPN solar system, the network’s Bristol, Connecticut, headquarters is the sun, which makes its Los Angeles office something like Pluto — many miles away, and its status as a planet recently up for debate. In early May, ESPN parted ways not-quite-amicably with Bill Simmons, who founded Grantland, the pop culture and sports site based out of L.A. That office is also home to the Undefeated, a not-yet-launched site meant to explore race, culture, and sports. In 2013, John Skipper, ESPN’s president, hired Jason Whitlock, a prominent and controversial sports columnist, to launch the site. Whitlock agreed, and, in a moment he would come to regret, went on Simmons’s podcast and declared that the site would be, for lack of a better descriptor, a “Black Grantland.”

    It took only hours for a mock “Black Grantland” Twitter account to be created — “Our articles are 3/5ths shorter!” — but nearly two years later, the actual site still doesn’t exist. It was supposed to launch in August 2014, February 2015, sometime this May, and, most recently, June 24. In late April, as explanation, Deadspin ran a 10,000-word story titled “How Jason Whitlock is Poisoning ESPN’s 'Black Grantland,'” which detailed Whitlock’s difficulty attracting talent to the site, and the striking dysfunctions in his management of those who had joined it.

    On May 26, Skipper visited the Undefeated office to check up on the site. I was supposed to go to L.A. that week, too, after ESPN and Whitlock agreed to a profile of Whitlock and his site. I was to join Whitlock at an annual Memorial Day barbecue at his mother’s house, in Indianapolis, then fly on to Los Angeles, to visit the Undefeated’s office. My flights were booked when Whitlock called from an unknown number 12 hours before my departure. Half an hour later, he had uninvited me from both trips for reasons that were off the record, but did little to convince me that others I spoke to who have worked and interacted with him, at ESPN and elsewhere, were being overly harsh in describing him as paranoid, dismissive of young writers, and difficult to work with.

    Perhaps Whitlock simply saw the writing on the wall: Three weeks after that call, Skipper removed Whitlock from the site he’d been hired to create, before that site had even launched. It’s difficult to say exactly why ESPN let Whitlock go. (Both sides declined to comment on the record for this story.) The Deadspin article was read throughout Bristol, but several people at the company said the problems had been well-known for some time. ESPN has so far insisted that both of its L.A. outposts have bright futures, though the trajectories of both are less clear without their founders at the helm. The Undefeated’s aborted lift-off is instructive in understanding both the difficulty of the task at hand — a massive sports media organization creating a website examining the most pressing social issue of the day — and the precarious position of such “affinity sites,” including Grantland and Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight, in the ESPN universe.

    Jason Whitlock and the Saga of ‘Black Grantland’ -- NYMag
  12. Songbird

    Songbird Well-Known Member

Draft saved Draft deleted

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