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Nate Silver Leaving New York Times for ESPN

By Sunnivie Brydum

The openly gay statistician who became famous for his eerily accurate predictions of the outcomes of the past two national elections is set to leave the New York Times to join sports network ESPN, reports TechCrunch.

Nate Silver will take the statistical blog he founded that was co-opted by the Times, Five Thirty Eight, with him to the sports giant owned by the Walt Disney Company, according to the Times.

At ESPN, Silver will take on several tasks. In addition to his statistically driven blogging, Silver is expected to become a regular contributor to Keith Olbermann's new show on ESPN2, according to TechCrunch.

The decision has not been made public, but anonymous sources cited by the Times expect that announcement to come as early as Monday. Silver reportedly informed the Times of his departure on Friday, according to an article published on the Times' site that same day.  

Silver's Five Thirty Eight blog was a boon to the Times' web traffic, accounting for more than 20% of all visits to the news site during the 2012 election cycle, and a staggering 71% of all politics traffic to the Times' website during the November election, according to TechCrunch.

Silver began his career as a sports statistician, discovering a highly successful formula for predicting how well baseball players would perform in the future, notes the Times. His three-year contract with the Times expires in August, and several news outlets have been courting the out statistician in recent months. In its own article, the Times notes that Silver's departure will likely be viewed as a loss for the company, which has heavily promoted Silver and his Five Thirty Eight brand. 

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