Nate Silver Might Get Fired

( As part of its cost-cutting efforts, ABC News may not renew its contract with FiveThirtyEight statistics guru Nate Silver, according to the Daily Beast’s Confider media column. Sources told Confider that the decision will be made by the summer when Silver’s contract expires.

Silver’s uncertain future at ABC News comes as news division boss Kim Godwin reviews Silver’s website FiveThirtyEight. The publication, which has never made a profit, has not filled key positions, including replacing managing editor Micah Cohen who left for the data site Stacker or politics editor Sarah Ziegler who left for the New York Times.

The sources told Confider that the lack of enthusiasm from ABC News in building a subscription business around FiveThirtyEight was a “missed opportunity” to make money for ABC’s parent company, Disney.

Silver and FiveThirtyEight faced a great deal of scrutiny after the November midterm elections when critics accused Silver of relying on flawed polls that inaccurately predicted an impending Republican “red wave” during the 2022 midterms.

Former ABC News producer Simon Rosenberg, now a Democrat strategist, told Confider that it was unquestionable that partisan sources exploited FiveThirtyEight to “create a false impression of the election” and Silver knew it was happening. Rosenberg said by failing to address the problem, Silver “ended up contributing to misleading the American people about what was happening in the election.”

Rosenberg described the failure as “an existential threat to FiveThirtyEight,” adding that if Silver doesn’t make “significant reforms” at the publication, “the political elite should move to other sources to get information about polling.”

According to Confider, it is likely ABC News will try to sell FiveThirtyEight.

In 2017, Nate Silver held talks with both The Atlantic and The Athletic to discuss a possible acquisition of the publication.

A spokesperson for ABC News told Confider that there were no “imminent decisions” about the network’s relationship with Silver or FiveThirtyEight.