How many terrible writers can a staff have and still be considered fantastic? I guess Grantland still succeeds through volume, but there's a lot of dross there.
Ad Age interview with Grantland's publisher, January 2013:Ad Age: So is Grantland itself financially self-sufficient? Does it break even?Mr. Cho: It depends on how you do the accounting.Here, an ESPN rep cut in to say the company doesn't discuss financials.Mr.Cho: It's safe to say we're very happy where we are.
I think Grantland has been about as successful as one can expect. Great writers looking at the Xs and Os of different sports, decent podcasts, entertainment stuff that's unimportant but funny.... It's a site that is slowly rising on my "sites I frequently visit" list. It's got more staying power not only because of its breadth of content — from pro wrestling to reality TV to basketball to divas to 80s laughs to football to baseball — as for its depth (Masked Man, Zach Lowe, Xs and Os guys on everything, Rembert). And unlike some other sports/entertainment sites, I don't feel like it's up its own rear in self-satisfaction.
Except that the depth is fairly spotty. Topics that Simmons cares about like the NFL, NBA or pop culture get quality writers, but sports that don't interest him get any hack that generate sufficient copy on time.
That's part of the mission, though. Grantland is supposed to be Simmons' idiosyncratic vision. The one thing that is interesting is that while they offer commenting, unlike AV Club, there hasn't developed the robust comments section.
I love Grantland. I was telling someone the other day it reminds me of an actual magazine with how in-depth some of the posts are, which is unlike most other sites I read that are mostly recaps or short info posts. I love the combination of sports and entertainment.
Wow. I love Grantland and think it has become the go-to site for Pop Culturey type stuff. Certainly its TV writing and re-caps are top of the game, now easily bypassing HitFix for me at least.I suppose I once too was skeptical that Simmons' combination of sports-cheese and personal-douchiness would not work, but he has proven me way wrong. And happily so.