‘Terrible boss’ Nate Silver blasted by ex-employee as ABC mulls ax for FiveThirtyEight

On Tuesday, a woman who worked at data journalist Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight news site called him a “terrible boss” as Disney-owned ABC considered shutting down the data-driven news site.

Farai Chideya, who worked as a reporter for FiveThirtyEight during the 2016 election, posted a lengthy tweet thread that went viral on Tuesday. She criticized Silver as a “white nerd” who ran a “money-losing and failing trend-spotting site.”

“I had wonderful friends and allies at @FiveThirtyEight,” Chideya tweeted on Tuesday. “But Nate Silver was a terrible boss, especially for women and people of color.”

“Someone should do some data journalism on the average length of women there,” she tweeted. “And that made journalism worse.”

The Post has sought comment from ABC News.

Farai Chideya covered the 2016 election for FiveThirtyEight.
Getty Images for WMC

Chideya wrote that Silver was a “terrible manager” who “didn’t listen” to complaints from his employees, especially “critics from female staff”.

She described an incident in which she confronted Silver and threatened to quit if “things didn’t improve”. Chideya tweeted that the incident left him “stunned”.

Chideya reacted to a report that FiveThirtyEight was "on the chopping block".
Chideya reacted to a report that FiveThirtyEight was “on the chopping block”.

Silver has also been accused of being “part of the problem in American journalism” by failing to properly assess how “race and gender were weaponized” by Donald Trump to win the 2016 presidential election.

According to Chideya, who is black, Silver “dismissed any relevance of race and gender in the meta-narrative”.

Chideya posted tweets in response to a Daily Beast report that claimed ABC News executives had put Silver’s news site “on the chopping block” as the network considered cost-cutting measures.

Chideya called Silver a "terrible boss".
Chideya called Silver a “terrible boss”.
Getty Images for WMC

A decision is expected to be made by ABC News this summer when Silver’s contract expires.

The site’s performance is allegedly being reviewed by ABC News President Kimberly Godwin, according to the report, who added that ABC may seek to “offload” the FiveThirtyEight site in a sale.

The site, which never made a profit, was founded by Silver in 2008. It was originally owned by The New York Times, where Silver made a name for himself nationally by accurately predicting the election. of Barack Obama.

In 2013, Silver and his site migrated from The Times to Disney-owned ESPN. In 2018, FiveThirtyEight was acquired by ESPN’s sister company ABC News.

Additional reporting by Thomas Barrabi


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