Nate Silver, the founder of polling and political analysis website FiveThirtyEight, said he “expects” to leave his position at ABC News once his contract ends as parent company Disney continues with mass layoffs.
“Disney layoffs have substantially impacted FiveThirtyEight,” he tweeted. “I am sad and disappointed to a degree that’s kind of hard to express right now. We’ve been at Disney almost 10 years. My contract is up soon and I expect that I’ll be leaving at the end of it.”
Silver said that he had anticipated the impact of Disney’s layoffs on FiveThirtyEight and suggested that he had opportunities lined up elsewhere.
ABC News told Semafor that it planned to keep the FiveThirtyEight brand but said it would be changing its organizational structure to prepare for the 2024 presidential elections. The network did not articulate what these changes would include.
“ABC News remains dedicated to data journalism with a core focus on politics, the economy and enterprise reporting,” the network said in a statement. “This streamlined structure will allow us to be more closely aligned with our priorities for the 2024 election and beyond. We are grateful for the invaluable contributions of the team members who will be departing the organization and know they will continue to make an important impact on the future of journalism.”
Disney CEO Bob Iger announced in February that he planned to slash 7,000 jobs in an effort to save about $5.5 billion. The company began an initial round of layoffs last month, and about 4,000 employees will have been let go by the end of the week, CNN reports.
Silver founded FiveThirtyEight in 2008, and the website was quickly hailed as a pioneer in interactive data visualization for the internet age. It became a New York Times brand in 2010 before Silver eventually sold it to ESPN in 2013, after which it also added sports predictions to its verticals.
The company faced criticism following the 2016 presidential election, with many arguing that its methodologies heavily favored and predicted a Hillary Clinton win.
The company was eventually transferred over to ESPN’s sister brand ABC News in 2018.