Data journalist and FiveThirtyEight founder Nate Silver will not have his contract renewed by ABC News when it expires this summer as corporate parent Disney seeks to slash costs, the popular pollster said Tuesday.

Silver, who gained prominence by accurately predicting Barack Obama’s election in 2008, was swept up in Disney’s latest round of layoffs affecting thousands of employees.

“Disney layoffs have substantially impacted FiveThirtyEight,” Silver tweeted.

“I am sad and disappointed to a degree that’s kind of hard to express right now.”

He added: “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.”

“I had been worried about an outcome like this and so have had some great initial conversations about opportunities elsewhere,” Silver tweeted.

“Don’t hesitate to get in touch.”

He added: “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.”

ABC News is expected to keep the FiveThirtyEight brand name, though the network has plans to streamline the site for the 2024 election, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.

“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,” an ABC News spokesperson told the Hollywood Reporter.

Nate Silver, the statistician and data journalist who founded the FiveThirtyEight website, will not have his contract renewed by corporate parent Disney when the deal expires this summer.
Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

“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.” 

The Post has sought comment from FiveThirtyEight, ABC News and Disney.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, Silver sent a Slack message to employees, writing that “unfortunately the day we’ve been worried about has arrived.”

“We don’t yet know the scope of these layoffs, exactly who is impacted, or the terms under which they are departing, but it is going to be a hard day for all of us,” Silver wrote.


Speculation that FiveThirtyEight was "on the chopping block" has been running rampant in recent months.
Speculation that FiveThirtyEight was “on the chopping block” has been running rampant in recent months.
Andrew Toth

Disney this week began the process of cutting 7,000 jobs across the company, including from its sports broadcasting empire at ESPN.

Disney Entertainment, the division of the Walt Disney Co. which includes its film studios, television content production and distribution, and streaming services, will bear a significant chunk of the job cuts — with approximately 15% of the division’s staffers set to exit next week, according to the report.

The future of FiveThirtyEight, which was founded by Silver in 2008, has been the subject of intense speculation in recent months.

In January, the Daily Beast reported that the data-driven analysis site was “on the chopping block” due to budget cuts planned by bean counters at corporate parent Disney.

The site reported that ABC News boss Kim Godwin had placed FiveThirtyEight “under review” — potentially in the run-up to a possible sale.


The Walt Disney Co. this week has started laying off some 7,000 employees, including from ESPN.
The Walt Disney Co. this week has started laying off some 7,000 employees, including from ESPN.
REUTERS

The Daily Beast said insiders have “lamented” a “lack of enthusiasm” at ABC to adopt a subscription-based model at FiveThirtyEight to drive profitability.

Silver previously held talks on a potential sale of his site with The Atlantic and The Athletic in 2017, according to the report.

The site, which has never turned a profit, was initially the property of the New York Times.

In 2013, Silver and his site migrated from the Times to Disney-owned ESPN.

Five years later, FiveThirtyEight was acquired by ESPN’s corporate sister, ABC News.