Fans of Grantland’s NFL podcast, hosted by popular writers Bill Barnwell and Robert Mays, haven’t had a new episode to listen to since Oct. 13. That’s more than a little odd, given that new episodes are posted at a high frequency, usually multiple times a week. So what gives?
The problem seems to be with a portion of a previous podcast, during which Barnwell and Mays apparently offered praise to a handful of their departing colleagues—and there are a lot! Just today it was announced that staff writer Rembert Browne will be leaving the site to work for New York Magazine—only to have that segment edited out after the podcast was recorded. Jim Miller, author of the ESPN oral history, reported this morning that portions of various recent podcasts were cut by Editor-In-Chief Chris Connelly.
Former Grantland Editor-In-Chief Bill Simmons also made an oblique reference to the situation on his own podcast last week:
There might have been a couple of Grantland people that said nice things about [the departing Grantlanders] on a podcast, and it might have been edited out by people who work over there, so I wanted to pass along those sentiments from some of the people at Grantland, too.
Now you’re probably saying to yourself, “Wait, every good internet drama needs tweets. Where are the dang tweets?” Here are the tweets:
If Barnwell and Mays are waging some kind of podcast boycott, that would fall in line with what Miller wrote in his piece about the site for Vanity Fair last week, in which he reported that much of the staff is at odds with management. From the piece:
Discussions on background with Grantland staffers past and present (ESPN executives associated with Grantland declined to talk on the record or on background for this column) reveal that the site is beset by a climate of fear, a cycle of mistrust, and a belief amongst several that staff are “treated like children.” An overall lack of communication with management has been beyond frustrating for the staff. Many heard about Connelly’s appointment on their Twitter feeds—precisely where Simmons had learned of his dismissal.
So who the hell knows when you’re going to get another NFL podcast on Grantland. Things are a little tense over there right now.