May 27, 2015

ESPN has chosen a new editor to helm Grantland in the absence of founding editor Bill Simmons.

Sports journalist Chris Connelly, who regularly talked movies with Simmons and staff writer Wesley Morris, will take over editorship of the site on an interim basis, according to a press release published Wednesday by ESPN.

According to the release, Connelly will keep his contributing roles at Outside the Lines, SportsCenter and E:60.

Connelly’s appointment comes weeks after ESPN confirmed Simmons was leaving the network after a failed contract negotiation. Then came word via Sports Illustrated that Simmons would no longer appear on any of the network’s platforms.

Connelly tweeted about his appointment shortly after it was announced Wednesday, praising Simmons for his leadership of Grantland.

When news of Simmons’ departure broke, several media observers opined about what the departure of a franchise columnist meant for ESPN and for the journalism landscape at large. Re/code’s Peter Kafka reported that Grantland publisher David Cho was following Simmons out the door.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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