Nate Silver Disses New York Times Ad Sales Staff

The former Times blogger tells Bill Simmons that his former employer "should be turning a much larger profit than it does right now"

Former New York Times-blogger-turned-ESPN-entrepreneur Nate Silver said that the Times sales staff "isn't that good" on Thursday's "B.S. Report," according to Deadspin.

"I feel like this will get me in trouble, maybe," Silver said. "But I feel like with all the traffic the 'Times' has right now it should be turning a much larger profit than it does right now. Right?"

He continued, "They get so many eyeballs and so much high quality traffic — the demographics are really good, people with a lot of disposable income — that it should be a goldmine for advertisers. If you're having trouble I don't think you should blame the environmental conditions so much as maybe your sales staff isn't that good."

Also read: Nate Silver's FiveThirtyEight to Be Its Own ESPN Franchise

Silver is the man behind the FiveThirtyEight blog, where his polling models predicted the presidential election seemingly better than anybody else. He previously ran the blog independently.

"B.S. Report" host Bill Simmons is the right man for Silver talk to, because Silver wants to make his FiveThirtyEight site similar to Simmons' Grantland in content and appearance. Also, they're both owned by ESPN.

On the podcast, Silver compared the culture at ESPN to that of the New York Times:

"It's different than being in a kind of newsroom culture," he said. "I love the New York Times newsroom, the people who run it. But it's constrained a lot from its business strategy point of view whereas here if you can dream and justify it — you can't just say I'm going to do something whimsical that doesn't make any sense — but if you can make a good case for something then you have a lot of freedom here."