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ESPN Sacks Grantland

ESPN is dropping its online news/sports service Grantland, five months after the departure of the service’s founder Bill Simmons.

ESPN said in a statement that it is “suspending the publication of Grantland’ effective immediately, adding that it will direct it time and energy “toward projects that we believe will have a broader and more significant impact across our enterprise.”

Grantland was launched in 2011 by Simmons, who left ESPN in May after the sports network did not renew his contract. Two months later Simmons signed a multi-year, multi-platform agreement with HBO.

The rest of ESPN’s statement reads as follows:

“Grantland distinguished itself with quality writing, smart ideas, original thinking and fun.  We are grateful to those who made it so.  Bill Simmons was passionately committed to the site and proved to be an outstanding editor with a real eye for talent.  Thanks to all the other writers, editors and staff who worked very hard to create content with an identifiable sensibility and consistent intelligence and quality. We also extend our thanks to Chris Connelly who stepped in to help us maintain

R. Thomas Umstead serves as senior content producer, programming for Multichannel News, Broadcasting + Cable and Next TV. During his more than 30-year career as a print and online journalist, Umstead has written articles on a variety of subjects ranging from TV technology, marketing and sports production to content distribution and development. He has provided expert commentary on television issues and trends for such TV, print, radio and streaming outlets as Fox News, CNBC, the Today show, USA Today, The New York Times and National Public Radio. Umstead has also filmed, produced and edited more than 100 original video interviews, profiles and news reports featuring key cable television executives as well as entertainers and celebrity personalities.