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Left-Wing Outlet's Founder Ousted After Nearly a Decade as Disney Executes Mass Layoffs

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Another journalist announced Tuesday that his job is on the chopping block.

Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight, a website that uses political and statistical analysis to generate news content, announced in a Slack message Tuesday that his staff would be impacted by a new round of budget cuts at Disney, according to a story broken by The Hollywood Reporter.

“Silver told FiveThirtyEight employees in a Slack message that he expects to leave Disney when his contract is up, which he added would be ‘soon,'” the outlet reported.

In a Twitter post Tuesday, Silver said something similar.

“Disney layoffs have substantially impacted FiveThirtyEight,” he wrote.

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“I am sad and disappointed to a degree that’s kind of hard to express right now. We’ve been at Disney almost 10 years. My contract is up soon and I expect that I’ll be leaving at the end of it.”

In a follow-up tweet apparently directed at FiveThirtyEight staff, he added, “I had been worried about an outcome like this and so have had some great initial conversations about opportunities elsewhere. Don’t hesitate to get in touch. I am so proud of the work of FiveThirtyEight staff. It has never been easy. I’m so sorry to the people impacted by this.”

FiveThirtyEight has been touted as a site that “uses statistical analysis — hard numbers — to tell compelling stories about elections, politics, sports, [and] science,” among other things.

The name is derived from the number of electors in the Electoral College.

Silver founded FiveThirtyEight in 2008, according to Variety. It was syndicated to The New York Times as “FiveThirtyEight: Nate Silver’s Political Calculus.” The site was acquired by ESPN in 2013 and it was moved to “Disney sister company” ABC News in 2018, according to that report.

The Hollywood Reporter said Disney is retaining control of the site, “with plans to streamline the site and make it more efficient.”

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A company representative said in a statement, “ABC News remains dedicated to data journalism with a core focus on politics, the economy and enterprise reporting — this streamlined structure will allow us to be more closely aligned with our priorities for the 2024 election and beyond.”

It added, “We are grateful for the invaluable contributions of the team members who will be departing the organization and know they will continue to make an important impact on the future of journalism.”

Variety reported that Disney began a second round of layoffs Monday, and is expected to eliminate 4,000 jobs by the end of this week.

Will there be more high-level journalists getting the boot?

The move is part of a “months-long goal to reach 7,000 job cuts total,” which will amount to about 3.2 percent of its staff, according to the report.

Disney had about 220,000 employees as of Oct. 1, 2022.

“According to Disney, a third and final wave of cuts is expected to begin ahead of the summer, which will bring the Mouse House to its 7,000 layoffs target,” it said.

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Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.
Lorri Wickenhauser has worked at news organizations in California and Arizona. She joined The Western Journal in 2021.




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