The new site, which has been in the works by Simmons and the WWL for quite some time, will be called Grantland, named after legendary sportswriter Grantland Rice.
Simmons will be the Editor-in-Chief, overseeing a staff of editors and writers in what is being billed as a sports and pop culture website. Former GQ and Entertainment Weekly Senior Editor Dan Fierman will be the lead editor on the site.
Among the consulting editors will be Chuck Klosterman, Malcom Gladwell, and Dave Eggers. Here are some of the feature writers..
- Michael Weinreb, author of the much-acclaimed books Bigger Than the Game and Game of Kings, as well as a feature writer for ESPN.com’s E-Ticket and GQ;
- Katie Baker, a contributor to the New York Times Magazine, Deadspin, Gawker, and Mediaite.com, who worked for Goldman Sachs for six years before deciding to write full-time;
- Molly Lambert, a popular blogger and most recently the managing editor of This Recording;
- Chris Ryan, who has written about soccer for GQ, The Village Voice, and the Wall Street Journal;
- Robert Mays III, an award-winning feature writer, who most recently worked at the Boston Globe;
- Bill Barnwell, managing editor of Football Outsider and a statistical consultant for Major League Baseball, who has written for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and ESPN The Magazine.
- Patrice Evans, creator of The Assimilated Negro (TAN) blog and author of the forthcoming book Negropedia. He has contributed to The New York Times, Gawker, EbonyJet.com and other major outlets.
Simmons from the ESPN press release:
“I grew up loving The National, Spy Magazine and Inside Sports,” said Simmons, who authored the No. 1 New York Times bestseller, The Book of Basketball, and was a co-creator of ESPN’s Peabody Award winning series 30 for 30. “Those three publications meant an inordinate amount to me, and I’m hoping that people will feel the same about this site.
“As we planned it over the last 18 months, my No. 1 goal was to figure out how to capture the spirit and creativity of 30 for 30 and transfer it to a website. We wanted original voices, and we found a bunch of them already. We’re going to take chances, come up with a few premises and ideas that you haven’t seen before, and be consistently entertaining day after day. You will never know what to expect when you come to the site – in a good way. That’s our ultimate goal.”
I have always been neutral about Simmons’ work, while others have strong opinions. Being and old school journalist I love the name and await the site’s launch.