ESPN is formally teaming up their two premiere personalities.
Disney’s sports behemoth announced on Monday that it was forming a new production unit called Exit 31, which will combine Bill Simmons’ sports and pop culture site, Grantland; the newly hired Nate Silver and his relaunched and expanded statistics-driven site, FiveThirtyEight; and ESPN Films, the company’s movie unit, which has produced — along with Simmons — make the acclaimed “30 for 30” documentary series.
The unit will be led by Marie Donoghue, ESPN’s senior vice president, global strategy, business development and business affairs. Simmons, Silver, ESPN Film’s Connor Schell will report to her, as will David Cho , who serves as Senior Director, Strategy and Business Development for Grantland and FiveThirtyEight.
Initial projects will include FiveThirtyEight Films, a new Grantland video podcast network, “30 for 30 Soccer Stories,” “30 for 30” shorts, and Grantland’s on-going documentary about Steve Nash’s return to the Lakers.