Morning Media Newsfeed: FiveThirtyEight Is Live | Sony Layoffs Begin | Carney to Resign?

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Statistician Nate Silver’s ESPN Site Kicks Off Amid Blog Frenzy (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Nate Silver, the New York Times blogger who jumped to ESPN last year, introduced his revamped FiveThirtyEight.com website Monday as more traditional media companies seek investments in online journalism. Poynter / MediaWire In an article welcoming readers, editor-in-chief Silver says the fact that he called the 2012 presidential election “was and remains a tremendously overrated accomplishment.” It only stood out “in comparison to others in the mainstream media,” Silver writes. Politico / Dylan Byers on Media The new site already features a number of articles and visualizations on topics ranging from the Crimean independence vote to the efficacy of toilet seat covers to Silver’s highly anticipated March Madness predictions. FiveThirtyEight will also produce podcasts and documentaries. GigaOM Silver said that he doesn’t want his site to replace or supersede traditional journalism, but to fill what he sees as a “need in the marketplace” for rigorous data-oriented journalism. The site’s logo, a stylized fox head, comes from what Silver says is an ancient Greek aphorism about how the hedgehog knows one large thing, while the fox “knows many small things.” Capital New York Remnants of Silver’s time as a data wonk at the Times remain. The site includes an archive of many, but not all, of the FiveThirtyEight articles published when it was a Times brand, dating back to 2009. Several are even bylined by the current head of the Times‘ impending data venture The Upshot: David Leonhardt. Times graphics editor Kevin Quealy also makes appearances in the archives, as well as Thomas Schaller, a professor of political science at the University of Maryland who contributed to the site when it was part of the Times, and Andrew Gelman, professor of statistics and political science at Columbia University. FishbowlDC FiveThirtyEight is back, baby. And for all of you in D.C. journo-land, this likely means you will have no jobs. The overwhelming and undeniable power of Nate Silver‘s math will render your quaint approaches to “newsgathering” as irrelevant as they are devoid of insight. Sorry.

Sony Layoffs Hit Interactive Teams, More Coming This Week (Deadline Hollywood)
Sony Pictures has begun its layoff process that will last through the week. Sony has cut the entire Sony Pictures Interactive (SPI) team tasked for the last 15 years with supporting the studio’s digital marketing. TheWrap The layoffs are across every division and will take place in California and in other Sony outposts in the U.S. and internationally, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation. The interactive division included 70 employees, but the cuts are more extensive. The interactive division’s work will be outsourced to third-party agencies, while other elements will be taken over by Sony’s in-house marketing team. Sony’s corporate information, technology team and digital operations will also pick up some of the slack, the individual said. THR The cost-cutting measures were announced last year and a round of layoffs in January brought the total to 50 since the process was initiated by heads Michael Lynton and Amy Pascal. Those cuts in January included the shuttering of Sony Pictures Technologies and jobs at the VFX house Imageworks. Variety The cutbacks at SPI won’t mean the studio will suddenly stop promoting its pictures online. Sony’s campaign for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has rolled out primarily online since the first marketing materials — from posters to trailers — began last year.

Source: Jay Carney to Resign in Spring; CNN Next Stop for Press Secretary? (Mediaite)
According to sources, White House press secretary Jay Carney will resign in the spring. An exact time is still fluid, as Carney is still in the negotiation stage of his next job. The Washington Post / In The Loop The jaw-dropping, yet short-lived, rumor that Carney was angling to trade the combative press room for an even more contentious post as the United States’ top diplomat in Russia was quickly squashed. The rumor was floated by Noah Pollak, executive director at the Emergency Committee for Israel in a tweet last week and buried in a Daily Beast story on Monday about the Russian government planning sanctions of U.S. senators. Carney, who worked in Moscow for Time in the early 1990s, denied that he wanted the job.