Award-winning journalist and contributor to E:60, Outside the Lines, Grantland and ABC News to lead growing sports and pop culture storytelling brand
Chris Connelly, the award-winning reporter and essayist whose work includes contributions to E:60, Outside The Lines, ABC News, Grantland and many other programs and publications, has been named Interim Editor-in-Chief of Grantland.
“We are thrilled to have a journalist of Chris’ caliber join us on an interim basis as we go forward and build on the smart, fun, adventurous, creative, unexpected and vital spirit of Grantland,” said Marie Donoghue, ESPN’s executive vice president, global strategy and original content. “Chris has been an award-winning journalist and storyteller in sports, music and pop culture for over three decades, and as a longtime contributor at Grantland, he appreciates the incredible team we have assembled.”
Added Connelly, “Bill Simmons had the vision to create Grantland, and his leadership, ideas, and inspiration made it singularly great. I’m looking forward to helping the writers, editors, and producers on this amazingly talented staff create more of the outstanding work for which they’ve rightly become known.”
The move comes as Grantland recorded its most trafficked month ever in April1, with video viewing on the site also showing significant growth – up 277 percent since last June2. Additionally, Grantland’s distinctive, engaging content has led to users on the site reading two-and-a-half times more content in a single week than users on similar sites do in an entire month3.
Since its launch in 2011, Grantland has been recognized for its entertaining and original content from both established and up-and-coming writers like Wesley Morris, Bill Barnwell, Zach Lowe, Katie Baker, Molly Lambert and Rembert Browne among others. A modern multimedia brand, Grantland is also an industry leader in podcasting and the home for signature video projects ranging from the Emmy Award winning “30 for 30 Shorts,” to feature films, and original short form video including “Jalen & Jacoby”, “Tough Calls”, “The Grantland Summer Movie Preview”, “Grantland Features” and more.
Engaging in multimedia storytelling has been central throughout Connelly’s career. Stories that he has reported and written have won four Sports Emmys and seven Edward R. Murrow Awards, as well as a Prism, a Gracie, and a National Headliner Award. He has also served as a consulting producer for ESPN Films’ 30 for 30 documentary series, was part of the team to prototype ESPN The Magazine prior to its launch and has moderated yearly filmmakers’ panels at the Tribeca/ESPN Sports Film Festival.
Connelly will continue to contribute stories and reporting to Outside the Lines, E:60 and other ESPN programs including SportsCenter and the annual My Wish series. For ABC News, Connelly will continue as a contributor for 20/20 other ABC News programs, where he covers popular culture and other manifestations of the zeitgeist.
Prior to joining ESPN in September 2001, Connelly spent more than a dozen years at MTV, where he was a host and interviewer specializing in movies; later, he was also a correspondent for MTV News. He earned a News Emmy nomination for co-writing Where Were You at 22? — a documentary he hosted about the young lives of the presidential candidates of the 2000 campaign.
A graduate of Amherst College, Connelly began his journalism career in print, initially at Rolling Stone -– where he wrote the magazine’s first cover stories on Madonna, Tom Cruise, and U2 — and then as an editor and writer for the late, much-beloved movie magazine, Premiere. Born and raised in New York City, he lives in Los Angeles.
1 Source: ComScore
2 Source: Adobe
3 Source: Chartbeat