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ESPN Places Greater Spotlight on Non-Sports Content With New ‘Exit 31′ Unit

on March 10, 2014

Originally posted on Variety:

ESPN continues to rely most heavily on live sports and the programming that surrounds it, but the Walt Disney-owned sports-media juggernaut is quietly working to broaden its horizons.

ESPN said Monday it would group three smaller projects – the Nate Silver-driven stats-and-news blog FiveThirtyEight”; its ESPN Films; and its Grantland site – into a single unit called “Exit 31″ (the number of the exit off Interstate 84 in Connecticut that leads to the media company’s Bristol headquarters). The group is expected to experiment “with subjects, formats, editorial approaches and platforms to create offerings that complement ESPN’s already expansive storytelling in new and different ways,” the company said in a prepared statement. FiveThirtyEight, acquired when ESPN lured Silver from a perch at The New York Times, is expected to appear March 17, now under ESPN’s aegis, in expanded form.

Marie Donoghue, senior vice president, global strategy, business development and business affairs, for ESPN will lead Exit 31…

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