Is Nate Silver About To Lose A Top Editor?

Randy Stewart

Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight might soon be down a top editor.

Jim Romenesko obtained an email on Wednesday indicating that Mike Wilson, FiveThirtyEight’s managing editor whose name is directly below Silver’s on the data-focused website’s masthead, is interviewing for a job as editor of the Dallas Morning News.

The move would mark a return to Wilson’s journalism roots: Before joining FiveThirtyEight last year, he served as managing editor of the Tampa Bay Times.

Neither Silver nor Wilson responded to TPM’s request for comment on Wednesday afternoon.

It’s been a rocky opening year for Silver’s site, which was met with negative reviews almost immediately following its launch in March. New York Times columnist Paul Krugman repeatedly questioned FiveThirtyEight’s mission, saying he “expected more thoughtfulness” to be paired with the data analysis.

Several members of the science community lambasted Silver’s hire of Roger Pielke Jr., a professor of environmental studies at the University of Colorado, for his writings on climate change. Pielke ultimately left the site in July, saying that his editors “showed some reluctance” about publishing his work.

But the most persistent criticism has been aimed at FiveThirtyEight’s lackluster editorial content, which has reportedly alarmed the site’s owner.

USA Today’s Jason McIntyre reported in September that many within ESPN, which owns FiveThirtyEight, have labeled Silver’s site a “disaster” due to anemic web traffic and advertising revenue.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.
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