ESPN Is No Longer the ‘Worldwide Leader in Sports’ Following Grantland Closure

ESPN sticks with shtick, instead of the real s#*t that brought them there.

Grantland

ESPN — take it or leave it — has been the overwhelmingly lead source in U.S. sports reporting.

It was a juggernaut in the field and because of ESPN, sports reporters live by a different standard than the rest of the GAs and beat reporters in the newsroom. That said, it has become a parody of itself during the past few years with its drive for 24/7 reporting.

Now, add to that, execs cut most of good stuff (and even better reporters) and folks/former fans are none too pleased with ESPN. In particular with the way it handled its award-winning website Grantland.

“After careful consideration, we have decided to direct our time and energy going forward to projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise,” ESPN said in a statement (late) Friday afternoon.

They wanted to bury the news because of Grantland’s founding editor, the beloved (and often bemoaned) Bill Simmons. Arguably, this site redefined sports journalism in its written form. And now, it’s gone the way of the cue cat, Google+, the Windows phone and MySpace. Dead in the cyber ether because of really crappy and hamhanded decisions. Good on ya’ Bristol.

It’s only been five months since the well-publicized divorce between ESPN and the great Simmons, but since he was just one of 300, it wasn’t supposed to be that big of a deal. Namely since people beg ESPN to do the same with its patriarch Chris Berman.

Quick quiz, PR pros: Why do you post statements or releases on a late Friday afternoon? Because you hope no one will find it.

This is ESPN, where haters roam. Nice try, ESPN PR. Shall we say “Swing and big miss”?