CAN'T WE ALL JUST ENJOY SOME GOLF?!
October 29, 2019 11:30 AM   Subscribe

Yesterday, the editorial staff at Deadspin received a notice from G/O Media editorial manager Paul Maidment telling them, essentially, to "stick to sports," eschewing the greater grab-bag of meandering topics (and notably the left-leaning political bent) that had become the site's brand. In response, Editor Barry Patchesky posted old non-sports content on the front page as a "thumb in the eye" of the edict, leading to his firing this afternoon. Deadspin's Drew Magary explains why there's no such thing as sticking to sports.
posted by Navelgazer (209 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
So now that most of my non-metafilter internet is being systematically dismantled by the new folks in charge, does anyone have any suggestions on where to go from the G/O network of websites?
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 11:40 AM on October 29 [28 favorites]


Sort of sounding like this might be The End, judging from various Twitter posts.
posted by selfnoise at 11:41 AM on October 29 [7 favorites]


GMG Union:
Earlier today, @JimSpanfeller, CEO of G/O Media, fired our colleague and longtime Deadspin Deputy Editor Barry Petchesky. This will not stand. We will have updates soon.
posted by Chrysostom at 11:53 AM on October 29 [21 favorites]


Drew Magary almost always publishes his rarely-about-sports "Funbag!" columns on Tuesdays between 2PM and 3PM. No sign of it yet. Assuming it's coming, I'm prepared for spicy takes.
posted by SpiffyRob at 12:01 PM on October 29 [3 favorites]


So now that most of my non-metafilter internet is being systematically dismantled by the new folks in charge, does anyone have any suggestions on where to go from the G/O network of websites?

Yeah, I wish there was some way for all of these hard working writers/people to all land at some new site. Because I appreciate all of their writing, all of their hard work. None of this is surprising.

This is why it's important to unionize. We're talking about this at my job right now coincidentally. If you need me, I'll be reading anything/everything The Whelk has posted in the last year.
posted by Fizz at 12:03 PM on October 29 [24 favorites]


This is why it's important to unionize.

Without the union I'm pretty sure these bunch of clowns would have fired the entire staffs of every site within minutes of completing the purchase. Unfortunately now they seem to be doing it the long and painful way specifically as a public example of how a rich owner can break their reporters' union.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:12 PM on October 29 [20 favorites]


Megan Greenwell's resignation piece from a couple of months ago is on the front page, and it's prescient and devastating.
An ever-growing number of media owners, meanwhile, are so exceedingly unwilling to reckon with the particulars of their own business that they refuse to accept our eagerness to help them make money. They’re speaking a language no one else does, proud of their own inability not just to not fail, but to not understand the terms on which they’re failing. The tragedy of digital media isn’t that it’s run by ruthless, profiteering guys in ill-fitting suits; it’s that the people posing as the experts know less about how to make money than their employees, to whom they won’t listen.
...
A metastasizing swath of media is controlled by private-equity vultures and capricious billionaires and other people who genuinely believe that they are rich because they are smart and that they are smart because they are rich, and that anyone less rich is by definition less smart. They know what they know, and they don’t need to know anything else.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 12:13 PM on October 29 [63 favorites]


Argh god this sucks. If they can off the writers and go for the SI zombie model I will quit reading all of the group's sites without hesitation, which probably comprise aboj half my time online up til now.
posted by ominous_paws at 12:14 PM on October 29 [8 favorites]


90% of my posts spring from Kotaku. I use it as a jumping off point in collecting and rounding up other reviews/articles/blog posts, etc. I'm a huge fan of Jason Schreier, Maddy Myers, Gita Jackson, Kirk Hamilton, like EVEYRONE on their staff. They're all wonderful people and this is me giving them a shout out.
posted by Fizz at 12:22 PM on October 29 [16 favorites]


My main G/O site is/was the AVClub and that's been steadily going down hill ever since all the Dissolve people quit. Most of the other sub-sites seem so thin these days that I'm not sure what I'd miss if the went away.
posted by octothorpe at 12:28 PM on October 29 [5 favorites]


Re: Kotaku, Jason Schreier has been expressing uncertainty of his future there on twitter today after their union issued their "This will not stand" post. I haven't followed the site as closely as I used to but his articles were always standouts for investigative gaming journalism and that would be a devastating loss.
posted by aranyx at 12:35 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


I want to see Schreier and the rest of the Kotaku gang start a new publication together!
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:36 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


I want to see Schreier and the rest of the Kotaku gang start a new publication together!

Can he merge with the Waypoint crew at Vice Gaming, because Austin Walker, Danielle Riendeau, Rob Zacny and Natalise Watson are also dope as fuck and if you're not listening to Waypoint Radio (their podcast), as well as Kotaku's Splitscreen. Please find your podcast app of choice and give them a follow.
posted by Fizz at 12:39 PM on October 29 [6 favorites]


Also, on the subject of auto-play ads: G/O Media Is Fighting Its Staff Over 'Objectively Bad' Autoplay Ads [Vice]
The internet largely evolved past autoplaying video with sound years ago when Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram implemented silently playing videos on their platforms, which led to the rise of hard-coded subtitles included in autoplaying videos. Users could then decide whether a video was worth unmuting, which is a much more respectful way of treating readers, she said. We hate autoplay ads with sound for a different reason today than we did in the past, where the risk was having sound come from your computer in class or at the office when you weren't expecting it.

"If you’re loading a webpage and an autoplaying sound pops up, it’s not disrupting your office mates but it’s disrupting whatever other listening you’re doing," Harper said. "Now it’s different because we live in a media ecosystem that’s much more about personal sound space. You’re almost constantly wearing headphones and listening to something else, so it's a personal disruption."
Why is it that the dumbest people seem to control all of the levers of power in businesses like this. NO ONE wants this and this type of advertising DOES NOT WORK. It actively makes me avoid sites like this thereby ruining their chances of my viewing or clicking on a web ad.
posted by Fizz at 12:40 PM on October 29 [32 favorites]


Unfortunately I think Rob is the only one left of the above-mentioned persons. Natalie and I think Danielle both moved on, and I'm not sure what Austin's deal is but he's not an editor there any longer.
posted by selfnoise at 12:43 PM on October 29 [4 favorites]


I would subscribe so fast to a media entity built by former Gawker, Deadspin, AV Club, and Grantland writers.
posted by sallybrown at 12:45 PM on October 29 [42 favorites]


I'm genuinely surprised (and impressed) that the Deadspin staff had a union.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:49 PM on October 29 [5 favorites]


It was a big deal when they unionized! The Gawker union was the first time the staff of a digital-only news outlet (or at least a major one; I don't know of any earlier examples) got a union recognized, and that turned out to be a really fucking good idea given the fate of Gawker as a corporate entity.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 12:52 PM on October 29 [18 favorites]


Oh, hey, the Ringer unionized in August. Looks like their first bargaining session was today. Good for them.
posted by Huffy Puffy at 12:55 PM on October 29 [5 favorites]


Maybe we’ll look back on the 2000-2020 blog world like writer supergroups-before-they-were-famous, like it was magical we could even read the work of these writers for free and on the same site.
posted by sallybrown at 12:57 PM on October 29 [8 favorites]


I am very upset about everything that's gone on over the last few months. I've read Deadspin daily for a decade, but I think that ends for me with Petchesky's firing.
posted by Kwine at 12:58 PM on October 29 [3 favorites]


Can he merge with the Waypoint crew at Vice Gaming, because Austin Walker, Danielle Riendeau, Rob Zacny and Natalise Watson are also dope as fuck

Yeah as of right now Austin is on contract to do the Waypoint podcasts and freelance write a little bit, and Danielle and Natalie are both gone. Rob and Patrick are the only two folks still on as full-time Vice employees. Waypoint as it was originally conceived is dead.

That said, I'd love to see a lot of these folks make an independent go of it. Looking at Drew Scanlon's Cloth Map and Danny O'Dwyer's Noclip there's definitely a market for it. Even if it eventually gets bought back into a media company the way Giant Bomb was it's still a great way to get out from underneath vulture capitalists.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 1:02 PM on October 29 [7 favorites]


> NO ONE wants this and this type of advertising DOES NOT WORK.

My guess from the strict "sports only" policy and this is that they are trying to simplify the sites and temporarily boost revenue to sell them off piece by piece.
posted by smelendez at 1:18 PM on October 29 [4 favorites]


The problem there is that Deadspin's most popular posts are the non-sports ones, so cutting them off in a very public, stink-making way does the opposite of goosing readership. It's ownership cutting off their own noses to spite their face.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:22 PM on October 29 [13 favorites]


I would subscribe so fast to a media entity built by former Gawker, Deadspin, AV Club, and Grantland writers.

Where do I sign up? Seriously, why hasn't anyone done this?
posted by Ber at 1:25 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


I mean, if I want to read about the Astros' rotation or whatever, there are tons of places to do it. That's not why people go to Deadspin.
posted by Chrysostom at 1:33 PM on October 29 [6 favorites]


I've always had a soft spot for Deadspin, as the first time my writing was exposed to a large audience was in the mid-2000s when Will Leitch ran the site. He would often link to an angry sports rant on my piss ant Blogger site in their daily blogspin post. That exposure (when "exposure" actually meant something) helped open doors that led to my getting paid to write.

The moronic hedge fund ownership killed Splinter, now they want to kneecap Deadspin (hoping to bust their union in the process). By sticking to sports, it removes what made Deadspin one of the few left -wing unicorns in the sports landscape. It reeks of how the mouse has stifled any kind of non-sports opinion at ESPN, taking the "both sides have good people" route. Hell, if I want to stick to sports, I can just read AP wire copy.

With Barry Patchesky's firing, the writing is on the wall. I have little hope this ends well. It would not surprise me to see the older G/O sites, which have significant name equity, either pivot toward the Maven/Sports Illustrated model - a shitty content farm which pays writers a pittance - or after ownership has picked the bones clean, the entire operation is sold off (again). And that would be a God damn shame.
posted by bawanaal at 1:36 PM on October 29 [17 favorites]


> I would subscribe so fast to a media entity built by former Gawker, Deadspin, AV Club, and Grantland writers.

Where do I sign up? Seriously, why hasn't anyone done this?


I'd be stunned if some weren't considering joining forces to build something like this, but the financial pressures don't disappear once you take the vulture capitalists out of the equation. The reason those looters got involved in the first place was because the assets were distressed, with ad revenues not being profitable enough to sustain the costs of hosting the content, paying writers, etc.

Other models are starting to emerge -- I'm pleased with The Athetic's sports coverage and happily pay to read it -- but they're not breaking even right now, either. It's just really hard out there for journalism, and while unionizing to fight back against this nonsense and exploring options for ownership of the means of publication are clearly necessary, they're not yet sufficient.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:38 PM on October 29 [6 favorites]


I frequently find myself on Deadspin and I have basically zero interest in sports. The non-sports (or at least, non-directly-specifically-sport-related) content is the only reason I was there.

I'll wait and see how this shakes out but it seems like an incredibly stupid and self-defeating move by management.
posted by Two unicycles and some duct tape at 2:12 PM on October 29 [13 favorites]


This has upset me so much today; I started hanging out at Deadspin a lot, like in the past I hung out at the AV Club or Jez. I don't care about sports in the least but the writing and community were great. Now these POS have fired my favourite writer in the most craven move imaginable. Meanwhile in the UK I'm staring at free newspaper headlines carrying water for the Tories. Such pointless misery and for what? You make a little extra money after disembowelling the media landscape? Gah.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 2:14 PM on October 29 [1 favorite]


Diana Moskovitz out now too, gave two weeks notice a week ago.
posted by ominous_paws at 2:15 PM on October 29


Private equity is not interested in running a business that turns a steady if modest profit, so I'm guessing their strategy is something like:

1. Fire some people to get payroll down
2. Jam in whatever form of ads they can get the highest rate for
3. Use the numbers from 1 and 2 to make some claim like 'net profits are up 12000% in the last three weeks!'
4. Scrub out anything controversial that might scare off potential buyers
5. Sell it all off, either as a whole or parted out, before the long term results of 1, 2, and 4 come into effect
6. Cackle evilly as the sold-off properties collapse and crater someone else's balance sheet
posted by echo target at 2:21 PM on October 29 [19 favorites]


Okay, so that shifts another 20% of my sports reading to The Athletic.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 2:22 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]




I read The Root a lot. I wonder what's going to happen to those folks. I can't imagine that a private equity firm looking to sell off to the highest bidder will let them carry on as they are for much longer.
posted by droplet at 2:26 PM on October 29 [9 favorites]


This is a huge blow to me, I've loved the site for a long time, and been a daily reader for at least 6 years? maybe even more. I certainly don't need yet another thing that's brought me some small measure of joy to go down the tubes again, and yet, here we are. Like I just really started getting into the takeout now too. It's odd I feel this way and certainly feel weird putting it out there, but man this is a bummer and gonna mess with me a lot more than I would have ever thought. Give us more left-wing sports sites, and I don't want to have to track down 30 different authors who's work I enjoy, it was already on the site I visited daily!!
posted by Carillon at 2:30 PM on October 29 [3 favorites]


Private equity is not interested in running a business that turns a steady if modest profit, so I'm guessing their strategy is something like:

1. Fire some people to get payroll down
2. Jam in whatever form of ads they can get the highest rate for
3. Use the numbers from 1 and 2 to make some claim like 'net profits are up 12000% in the last three weeks!'
4. Scrub out anything controversial that might scare off potential buyers
5. Sell it all off, either as a whole or parted out, before the long term results of 1, 2, and 4 come into effect
6. Cackle evilly as the sold-off properties collapse and crater someone else's balance sheet
posted by echo target at 5:21 PM on October 29 [2 favorites −] Favorite added! [!]


This certainly seems to have been the plan with Cracked after Jack O'Brien sold it, and he even stuck around as EIC for a while after that point, presumably to try to ensure a safe transition for what he had built there, but after his exit Scripps quickly fired off most of the top talent there, leaned hard into the content-mill, and flipped it onto Literally Media. Some of those writers have found good positions elsewhere (Dan O'Brien at Last Week Tonight, Soren Bowie at American Dad) but I wouldn't mind seeing some of them at the hypothetical supergroup site we're creating now.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:38 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


I'd be stunned if some weren't considering joining forces to build something like this, but the financial pressures don't disappear once you take the vulture capitalists out of the equation. The reason those looters got involved in the first place was because the assets were distressed, with ad revenues not being profitable enough to sustain the costs of hosting the content, paying writers, etc.

I was under the impression that Deadspin and at least some other former Gawker properties were profitable by themselves. They only got sucked into private equity because they were forced to declare bankruptcy after the Hulk Hogan litigation, got picked up by Univision, and then sold to the highest bidder. I don't think the company was in financial distress except for the $140 million of Hogan judgement money, but obviously it would have been difficult for employees to outraise whatever Univision and later Great Hill could put up, which is what they would have had to do once they started circling.
posted by Copronymus at 3:04 PM on October 29 [8 favorites]


Man, I've been reading it since the pretty much the earliest days of Leitch. aaaahhdhdhrehh
posted by Chrysostom at 3:10 PM on October 29


Someone appears to be fucking with the header such that only sports-related posts are being shown.
posted by SpiffyRob at 3:16 PM on October 29 [1 favorite]


> I was under the impression that Deadspin and at least some other former Gawker properties were profitable by themselves. They only got sucked into private equity because they were forced to declare bankruptcy after the Hulk Hogan litigation, got picked up by Univision, and then sold to the highest bidder. I don't think the company was in financial distress except for the $140 million of Hogan judgement money, but obviously it would have been difficult for employees to outraise whatever Univision and later Great Hill could put up, which is what they would have had to do once they started circling.

Sure, but that's a pretty big "except for" right there, no? The bankruptcy happened, and that devalued the entity to investors. The idea that you could just extract Deadspin (and/or any other The Media Platform Formerly Known as Gawker) from the whole and keep the same level of profitability is at odds with what we know about network effects.

Even in the best case, where all of the greatest current and former Gawker, Deadspin, Kotaku, AVClub, etc. writers all fuck off to form their own Voltron of excellence, they still have to hope that the readers and advertisers follow them to their new platform, and that the technical capabilities of the platform are such that people aren't turned off. G/O would presumably still own Kinja, which is a pretty solid commenting platform. Moving to Disqus or some custom thing would not be an easy task.

I think this is why it hasn't been tried before. Boostrapping this sort of thing requires capital, and nobody wants to throw capital at this sort of thing right now except the exact VC assholes that are ruining everything now. It's a very sad state of affairs all around.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:17 PM on October 29 [7 favorites]


I'm pleased with The Athetic's sports coverage and happily pay to read it -- but they're not breaking even right now, either.

Ok this (that they aren't breaking even) finally got me to subscribe, when Tifo Football Podcast's relentless flogging of it hadn't.
posted by juv3nal at 3:24 PM on October 29


> Ok this (that they aren't breaking even) finally got me to subscribe, when Tifo Football Podcast's relentless flogging of it hadn't.

My source for that assertion is, of all places, Deadspin. :)
posted by tonycpsu at 3:35 PM on October 29


I remain amazed at all the naive speculation here that this is about money. It's not. It's about squashing voices who will speak truth to power.
posted by ambrosen at 4:06 PM on October 29 [21 favorites]


G/O would presumably still own Kinja, which is a pretty solid commenting platform. Moving to Disqus or some custom thing would not be an easy task.

The switchover to Kinja was one of the first instances of meddling in something that wasn’t broken, a decision by the first group of Boneheads from Univision. There’d be much rejoicing if they went back to Disqus.
posted by The Pluto Gangsta at 4:15 PM on October 29 [3 favorites]


I read The Root a lot. I wonder what's going to happen to those folks. I can't imagine that a private equity firm looking to sell off to the highest bidder will let them carry on as they are for much longer.

Yeah, it seems like maga-ites have been coming for them in the comments more and more lately. I imagine they'd either be put under stricter control content-wise or they'd be silenced altogether.
posted by fuse theorem at 4:33 PM on October 29 [3 favorites]




I remain amazed at all the naive speculation here that this is about money. It's not. It's about squashing voices who will speak truth to power.

The guys at the private equity firm that bought the Gawker remnants are mostly just concerned with flipping their distressed investment for a profit. They could give two shits about the politics of the sports site they bought.
posted by killdevil at 4:40 PM on October 29 [5 favorites]


> I remain amazed at all the naive speculation here that this is about money. It's not. It's about squashing voices who will speak truth to power.

No need to subtweet here -- who is "naively speculating" that the "stick to sports" edict and the firing of Patchesky were about money? If you read the entirety of the comments -- there's not even that many of them right now! -- it's clear that the talk of money and profitability here is almost exclusively confined to the hypothetical launch of a Deadspinesque outlet by former writers. The economics of journalism do, in fact, present a problem for anyone who wants to break free from these vindictive VC shitheads. That these particular shitheads are trying to make an example of those who dared challenge their authority doesn't change that.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:26 PM on October 29 [4 favorites]


The ex-Gawker sites are very much built around their particular crew of writers and their particular attitude. If you wanted Barstool or Bleacher Report, you'd go there, and parts of the audience for those sites hate Deadspin. I wonder whether the Great Hill vultures think the brand is actually going to be worth what they paid without the writers, or whether they have a plan to make a buck regardless in the process of running it into the ground.
posted by atoxyl at 6:23 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


The point of these purchases is to silence dissenters and deprive them of the audience they've built up by telling unpopular truths over years.

Any money they make is almost superfluous.

One of the most pernicious lies the rich have been able to put over on everyone else is that rich people are in it for the money, whatever 'it' might be.
posted by jamjam at 7:48 PM on October 29 [6 favorites]


Oh, hey, the Ringer unionized in August.

As this has been going on, I've started following a lot of the writers and editors, past and present, on twitter, and like anything having to do with Twitter, I'd argue my general sense of happiness has greatly declined. As far as the Ringer, I think it was Magary who pointed out (in a round about sort of way) that Bill Simmons has stopped tweeting links to articles written by Ringer employees who pushed for the union. I don't doubt that Ringer staff are evaluated by clicks per post, if not paid as such (bonuses, whatever). What kind of fucked up bullshit is that? A boss, who, as an employee railed against the bosses at nearly every opportunity, now that he's the boss, using underhanded bullshit to punish employees asking for fairness? What the hell, aside from, you know, business as usual.

As far as Deadspin, Splinter, and all the rest, I've been reading since Leitch was editor. I remember Delaurio trying to make Oddjack a thing. As much as I praise Metafilter for having affected how I choose my words, and how I interact with others, Deadspin has done amazing work, especially looking through the lens of Magary's article where he admits to the miserable shit he used to say. If you read that article, the comments section was filled with readers chiming in to say that they, too, had grown, and learned, and understood that who they had been, and what they had said, was honestly regrettable, and they understood that things change, and times change, and that that's how things are supposed to go. On, putatively, a sports site, in the comments section, the last place you'd imagine finding soul searching and guys admitting that they had been wrong, had done wrong, and were eager to make things better.

I can't begin to describe how upsetting this is for me. I feel ridiculous, being this deeply affected by these events, but yeah, that whole network has been part of my daily routine for half of my adult life, and it's going away. There isn't going to be some sort of 80's sports comedy hijinx that suddenly makes the assholes ruining the place realize how silly they've been, and they re-hire everyone. It's ending, and it fucking sucks, and I'm sad, and I'm just so fucking tired of the never ending cycle of watching something good be destroyed just because some asshole sees a way to eke out a couple of fractions of a cent per whatever.

I don't think about why anymore. I don't point to a cause and say "This is why" because it doesn't fucking matter. All that really matters is the end of the saying:

We can't have nice things.
posted by Ghidorah at 8:16 PM on October 29 [23 favorites]


that Indian feller was really onto something when he said the cause of suffering is mistaking temporary arrangements for permanent things
posted by murphy slaw at 8:48 PM on October 29 [4 favorites]


I think all of these things are likely true:

The portfolio managers of Deadspin's new ownership are young and liberal and would gladly have every other story be Brooklyn streetscape stories or wondering why Kaepernick lacks a roster spot, if Deadspin had a growing and profitable audience doing it.

Sports is the last politically and culturally heterogeneous slice of media and it's not unreasonable to wonder if content mathematically certain to piss off or fail to connect with 50%+ of your (potential) audience is partially at fault for the audience not being growing and profitable.

Deadpsin's new ownership probably has little idea how Deadspin built and maintained the audience niche it did, including with non-sports content, and has a very good chance of fucking up any transition.
posted by MattD at 8:51 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


Even if it eventually gets bought back into a media company the way Giant Bomb was it's still a great way to get out from underneath vulture capitalists.

Here's a novel idea: just don't fucking sell it.

Get a worker's collective, Patreon support, etc etc. Maybe you do not get a millionaire IPO, but you get to do your work undisturbed by the parasites.
posted by Meatbomb at 8:52 PM on October 29 [1 favorite]


Wish I had just a bit more money to finance such a thing. But, if you weren't doing Paetron stuff, how much would it cost to set anything remotely like this up?

More than I have. And that lack of access is a real problem. When only media conglomerates can afford to publish, and pay the content creators, this shit is going to keep happening.
posted by Windopaene at 9:10 PM on October 29 [2 favorites]


The portfolio managers of Deadspin's new ownership are young and liberal and would gladly have every other story be Brooklyn streetscape stories or wondering why Kaepernick lacks a roster spot, if Deadspin had a growing and profitable audience doing it.

The Deadspin editors have been saying all along that the non-sports content is as popular as anything on the site and I think it is unlikely that this is dishonest. Besides the political content there's a lot of unique silliness and pop culture stuff. I have no idea whether Deadspin specifically was profitable - the new owners claim the whole of G/O Media just became profitable after a previous round of cuts - but I wouldn't be suprised if it was self-sustaining since it's one of the flagship sites of the bunch. It seems most plausible to me that it is a modestly profitable, inherently somewhat niche site, while the owners would prefer to own a cheaper sports content mill.
posted by atoxyl at 12:24 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


Business Geniuses with no knowledge of the site or its ownership jumping in and loudly declaring that surely this is only happening because it was unprofitable, get with reality snowflakes, has been the most tiring bit of this whole thing so far.
posted by ominous_paws at 1:48 AM on October 30 [9 favorites]


I feel ridiculous, being this deeply affected by these events, but yeah, that whole network has been part of my daily routine for half of my adult life, and it's going away.

If you feel ridiculous then I guess that is what I am feeling too. I started reading Deadspin back in the Leitch days and I probably have that parody they made when Leitch left of the Buzz Bissinger thing on a drive somewhere.

But the crew right now is really good. Magary does his Magary stuff and I think everyone is glad that he is back. I enjoy Giri Nathan's tennis stuff. When Diana Moskovitz was still there she did good stuff. They have Ray Ratto and Dave McKenna. As a crossover into my wrestling fandom they are giving a bigger platform to David Bixenspan. And having David Roth writing about our wet president in these trying times is a godsend. If there is no Deadspin, how can I remember some guys?

I wonder if Jim Spanfeller and co realize that not a lot of Deadpsin/Gawker/Gizmodo writers left on bad terms, are working for other, sometimes bigger, outlets and will be just as big pains to them as the current writers are.

While there aren't many ways to support the writers that I know of (buy Drew's books, I guess), there is a small thing you can do: David Roth and Jeb Lund do a podcast called Dave and Jeb Aren't Mean where they cover Hallmark movies. It's one of my regular podcasts and I will start giving to their Patreon soon. If only to hear them talk about RAD and the BMX prom dance.
posted by LostInUbe at 1:52 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


ominous_paws, I doubt this was who you were talking about, but from the How Things Work post at the end of July, Business Geniuses with no knowledge of the site or its ownership jumping in and loudly declaring that surely this is only happening because it was unprofitable sounds like a pretty solid description of Spanfeller and the rest of his cronies.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:53 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I used to read a lot of stuff on the G/O platform but very recently they changed the header so that it no longer pops up previews of stories on hover. Which made it really difficult to find things to read. Used to open A/V Club, then hover over the header on Deadspin and Jezebel and etc., opening the interesting-looking stories in new tabs, then wading through it on my lunch break.

Someone trying to monetize the site made a design decision that made it harder for me to find and consume their content, then they blame the writers?

I don’t think the idiots running the joint understand it well enough to be allowed to make decisions. Should be employee-owned.
posted by caution live frogs at 5:52 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Ominously, there hasn’t been a single post on Deadspin since Petchesky was fired. Probably because there is no editor to post them.
posted by Ampersand692 at 5:57 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Although, pleasingly, a lot of the stories now have "stick to sports" added to their main image.

Why no I have certainly not been checking the site and the writers' twitter accounts constantly, why would you ask
posted by ominous_paws at 6:22 AM on October 30


The mess at G/O Media: Deadspin edition (Jon Allsop, Columbia Journalism Review)

Useful digest/summary of everything that transpired so far.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:43 AM on October 30 [2 favorites]


What’s happening at Deadspin is a travesty (Jeremy Gordon, TheOutline)
"Fuck Jim Spanfeller and Paul Maidment." […]

You have to think and care about sports to read Deadspin, but if you do, it teaches you how to think and care about them (and more) more deeply than most websites get you to think and care about any of its subjects. It is, for now, the only sports publication I read every day: Its competitors repeat the official narratives a little too gladly (ESPN), diminished quietly under draconian owners (Sports Illustrated), or were killed ignobly (Grantland). […]

[…] Besides the fact that sports themselves are frequently political, Deadspin also specifically flourished as an umbrella for topics often beyond the purview of straight sports. Its readers overwhelmingly responded positively to this, as verified anecdotally — is there a better writer on Donald Trump in this country than writer/editor David Roth? — and officially by traffic numbers published by former editor Timothy Burke.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:49 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


very recently they changed the header so that it no longer pops up previews of stories on hover

Like you, caution live frogs, I used this feature a lot, in a way very similar to what you've described, and was bummed when it disappeared. Why would they not want to make it as easy as possible to read things across their different sites?

Changing that feature doesn't seem to make sense from an editorial or promotional standpoint. This may be a dumb question - my web skills are limited to a basic knowledge of HTML - but could there be some technical reason they made that change?
posted by Nat "King" Cole Porter Wagoner at 7:00 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


This is bullshit. Add me to the group that loves sports & loves (loved? :( ) having a left-leaning place to read about them.
posted by n. moon at 7:03 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


I read deadspin for the non-sports stuff. I read japolnik for the non car stuff. I read kotaku for the non-console stuff. These sites are good because they paint outside the lines. The writers are people I care about. I'm torn between "these are an incompetent group of chucklefucks who failed upward and have no idea what they're doing" and "these are a bunch of evil shitheads who failed upward and are trying to flip this while destroying it."
posted by Hactar at 7:04 AM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Either way, I think all at Deadspin and the sister sites would agree that Jim Spanfeller is a herb.
posted by LostInUbe at 7:08 AM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Business Geniuses with no knowledge of the site or its ownership jumping in and loudly declaring that surely this is only happening because it was unprofitable, get with reality snowflakes, has been the most tiring bit of this whole thing so far.

To be fair I think it is true that the ex-Gawker sites as a group wasn't doing so well financially under Univision. But I'm also pretty sure they were doing fine while they were still Gawker Media, until the outcome of Hogan lawsuit left them bankrupt. And the Great Hill folks already announced that they succeeded in cutting their way to profitability.
posted by atoxyl at 9:20 AM on October 30


Magary has a Funbag up, that's the first story posted since yesterday.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:24 AM on October 30


If you're wondering how he'll address the ongoing nonsense, read to the end.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:38 AM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Deadspin has broken their silence with Drew Magary's Funbag.
posted by SpiffyRob at 9:49 AM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I am enjoying the photo caption - "Picture of a basketball included to signal that this week’s Funbag is sports-related."
posted by caution live frogs at 10:43 AM on October 30


I deleted Deadspin from my RSS reader but now that they are posting passive-aggressive stories, skidding past passive-aggressiveness and heading towards just plain aggressiveness, back it goes.
posted by Ampersand692 at 12:43 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


For those of you who aren’t clicking on all the links, it’s worth pointing out that the top link right now on stick-to-sports Deadspin is the Magary Funbag entitled “Can I Fuck To My Friend's Band?”

Sports!
posted by Huffy Puffy at 1:10 PM on October 30




The article about farmers yanking their deal mentions that G/O failed to reach their target number of hits in September, which pretty much maps to when the ads exploded. It also mentioned that G/O was well aware it wouldn’t be able to reach the target, but thought it wouldn’t be an issue. Classy.

Meanwhile, on mobile, reading the funbag (there’s another article up, on the Seattle Sounders teaching the MLS finals, and how hard their fans fought to keep their right to display the iron front flag in a “stick to sports” environment), I was getting

Question

Ad

Paragraph of answer

Same ad

Next paragraph of answer

Same damn ad

And so on. I mean, at least now (unlike anytime in the past) the ads are targeted to me (thanks explosion of tracking cookies across the network). But, even so, they’re still utterly terrible. No, I don’t need a hanko, I’m not a tourist, I live here, I have one. No, I don’t need Savor’s guide to craft beer in Japan, seriously. Certainly not ten times an article.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:38 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Shit. Tom Ley, Laura Wagner, Lauren Theisen, Kelsey McKinney have all posted that they have quit. I’m sure there’s more to come. Fuck.
posted by Ghidorah at 2:41 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Is it me or did they turn off the comments on all Deadspin articles?
posted by LostInUbe at 3:01 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Not just you.
posted by Ampersand692 at 3:05 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


This is the plot of like half the seasons of Mad Men, isn’t it? This suggests if the writers were all like 200% worse people they’d be successful in their new underdog caper of a sports site. In real life, who knows?
posted by Huffy Puffy at 3:10 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Wow, G/O media suits are some chickenshit snowflakes. I hope all of these writers find new employers that can recognize talent and not try to shoehorn it into some prepackaged idea of what a media outlet should be in 2019.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:14 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Christ. Who's left? Magary, Roth, anyone else who's there on a full time basis?
posted by ominous_paws at 3:14 PM on October 30


The turn to autoplaying videos seemed to be followed in short order by a move away from "we see you're using an ad blocker" to some kind of blocker-circumvention technology. They escalated on every front at once which now makes a lot more sense, they had massively oversold to Farmers.
posted by range at 3:15 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Possibly due to being UK based I've actually never seen any of the autoplay ads. I do have adblock on.
posted by ominous_paws at 3:16 PM on October 30


Christ. Who's left? Magary, Roth, anyone else who's there on a full time basis?

Based on their masthead, the vacancies would currently be editor-in-chief, deputy editor, features editor, senior editor, and 30% of their staff writers, if I'm keeping track of everything correctly.

Oh, wait, looks like Patrick Redford and Chris Thompson also quit, so that's 50% of the staff writers. I would, uh, not be shocked if there are more to come shortly.
posted by Copronymus at 3:25 PM on October 30


By 9pm Eastern, Deadspin is just going to be Jian-Yang and the AI implementations of Gilfoyle and Dinesh from Sunday's Silicon Valley season premiere.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:29 PM on October 30


I’d be shocked if it isn’t deleted, but it looks like this is a close as we’ll get to any writer being allowed a goodbye post. That it’s shoehorning pretty much all the links we’ve been sharing into an article claiming to be about the World Series is honestly kind of awesome. And yeah, no comments.
posted by Ghidorah at 3:38 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


This makes me deeply sad.

Spiking the comments (all of which, today, were filled with words of support for the site's writers and fellow commenters) is just a thumb in the eye. And that's probably the point from current management. Don't just burn it down. Piss on the ashes. Plow them under. They don't value the current readership any more than they value the many talented writers they up until recently employed.

Like so many others have said upthread, Deadspin (along with MeFi) has been a daily read for me for well over a decade. And like others have said, I, too, grew up with the site. I highly recommend reading the Magary piece Ghidora posted about maturing online, and trying to be a better person, and owning up to your record. I wince at some of my old comments here. But today I'm more aware, and I dare to hope a better person, thanks to the (no irony intended) enriching experience of lurking at places like MeFi and Deadspin while smart writers and commenters patiently showed a better way to be. So yeah, while I feel ridiculous on some level to care this much about what happens to one site, it still stings.

And while the two are very different places, this whole episode makes me think it's time to up my contribution here, because I can't stand the thought of losing another online home.

Deadspin forever. MeFi forever.
posted by theoddball at 3:40 PM on October 30 [8 favorites]


Among the weirder aspects of all this is the amount of twitter accounts that have like thirteen followers, seem to be pretty unremarkable MAGA-bots, all retweets, but like... also really massive fans of Barstool?
posted by ominous_paws at 3:52 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


barstool is just fox news for millennial bros
posted by JimBennett at 3:56 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]


Among the weirder aspects of all this is the amount of twitter accounts that have like thirteen followers, seem to be pretty unremarkable MAGA-bots, all retweets, but like... also really massive fans of Barstool?

I've gathered that the Barstool subreddit does pretty big traffic and basically brigades tweets that are mean to their Dear Leader, but it's also not exactly out of the question that someone would just sic bots on offending tweets. They seem pretty flexible about the types of assholery they engage in.
posted by Copronymus at 4:00 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Yeah, there are many things about this meltdown that are bad; one of the lesser but still painful aspects is watching the Stoolies (and various other MAGA chuds) take victory laps.

Their Presidente is truly one of The Worst People.
posted by theoddball at 4:01 PM on October 30 [6 favorites]


Yeah, I noticed that early on. Their "president" gets thousands of likes for his "victory lap" and tries to mock the fact that so many blue checkmarked twitter accounts (i.e. other journalists) are the ones supporting the Deadspinners.

Anyway:
photo of the meeting where management tried to get us to move past Barry's firing.
posted by LostInUbe at 4:03 PM on October 30 [4 favorites]


Albert Burneko also quit, so they're down to 4 writers to go with 2/3 or so of the editors.
posted by Copronymus at 4:07 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Man. This is so sad.
posted by sallybrown at 4:19 PM on October 30


That meeting photo is pretty great, at least.
posted by ominous_paws at 4:22 PM on October 30


National Treasure Jon Bois weighs in. It's heartbreaking to watch this great group disintegrate in real time.
posted by range at 5:07 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Among the weirder aspects of all this is the amount of twitter accounts that have like thirteen followers, seem to be pretty unremarkable MAGA-bots, all retweets, but like... also really massive fans of Barstool?

Barstool hates Deadspin because Barstool sucks so I assume somebody was trying to get a brigade going among Barstool shitheads.
posted by atoxyl at 6:52 PM on October 30 [3 favorites]


Does anyone know how Cracked did after its bloodletting of its major talent last year? You would think that G/O would have some recent examples of the importance of site vs. writers.
posted by rtimmel at 7:00 PM on October 30


Drew Margerey:Deadspin::Yahtzee:The Escapist
posted by East14thTaco at 7:15 PM on October 30 [1 favorite]


Earlier today Magary posted a piece at Medium titled "Yes, I Am A Capitalist" about the complicated feelings of being in too deep to cut ties with a corrupt system that seems to be his explanation for why he's still a G/O employee.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 7:30 PM on October 30 [2 favorites]


Earlier today Magary posted a piece at Medium titled "Yes, I Am A Capitalist"

I know he means he is a capitalist ideologically, not structurally, but reading this I kept wanting to say "you're not talking about being a capitalist, you're talking about buying stuff."
posted by atoxyl at 8:47 PM on October 30


One thing I wasn't clear on is why'd they feel they had to resign without it seemed much pushback from the union? Was the negotiated contract not able to prevent some of this fuckery?
posted by Carillon at 10:57 PM on October 30 [5 favorites]




They also dropped what is probably the last Deadcast today, which was recorded after Barry got fired but before everyone quit.

I haven't listened to the whole thing yet but I got emotional listening to the beginning. This all sucks.
posted by LostInUbe at 5:42 AM on October 31


Probably best to follow this account (Dan McQuade just quit) for whatever is going on. It seems like David Roth is making sure he can put up anything left in his editorial queue so that those freelancers can get paid before finally calling it quits.
posted by LostInUbe at 7:15 AM on October 31 [2 favorites]


.
posted by sallybrown at 7:20 AM on October 31


.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:55 AM on October 31


This morning I checked Twitter and found out that there was a new chapter to the KAT/Embiid feud and my instinct was to visit Deadspin because I knew they would be able to properly contextualize it beyond "these two guys don't like each other." Then I realized that we weren't going to get that article.

Deadspin regularly interrogated sports and wrote about Why Sports Matters. Most other publications really only scratch the surface of this question. They'll write about how fans like it when their team wins or how it's nice when an athlete we like does well, but Deadspin would almost always go deeper. They weren't the only site to do this but they were the only site to do it regularly. This sucks so much.
posted by mcmile at 8:12 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


All the sports news that happened yesterday would have been a fucking banner day for Deadspin. World Series win for the Trump-booing Nats fans. Discussion of the first-ever best-of-7 series in North American sports where the visiting team won every game -- what other site would talk as frankly about people paying $1K-plus to leave the stadium disappointed and sad? The Embiid-KAT fistfight. Steph Curry breaking his hand and sealing the end of the Warriors’ dynasty (at least for this year). Houston and DC playing the ninth-highest-scoring NBA game of all time, without even going to overtime, and which Houston won by a point, at the same time that the Nats were beating Houston in the World Series. October 30, 2019 might have been the worst day all year for a sports site to stop updating! But that’s Business Genius Jim Spanfeller for you.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:28 AM on October 31 [12 favorites]


After Deadspin (Alex Shephard, New Republic)
With the media industry in decline, we can only expect more of the same from the chuckleheads in the corporate class.

[…] the collapse of Deadspin is so spectacularly stupid, so clearly self-inflicted, that it has an epochal quality. If there were any justice in the world, the site’s absurd decline, which could not better contrast the integrity and talent of Deadspin’s staffers on one side and the craven shit-eating of their corporate masters on the other, would serve as a wake-up call to the powers that be. Since there isn’t, it’s almost certainly a harbinger for much worse to come.
posted by ZeusHumms at 8:29 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


Also I know Deadspin would have something to fun say about this insufferable column by "respect the game" scold George Will (It's titled "Poor bat behavior is a stain on baseball’s unwritten standards" if you can't get behind WaPo's firewall, which should tell you everything you need to know about the piece.)

Deadspin gets gutted but somehow we're going to be stuck with a 140 year-old George Will writing opinion columns titled "Anchorage Tigers outfielder T-1000's plate walk-ups are disrespectful baseball's sacred rules"
posted by mcmile at 8:47 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


This all sucks sooooo much, that's all I have to say about it. Absolutely fucking sucks.
posted by windbox at 9:18 AM on October 31 [2 favorites]


@maxwelltani: Yikes G/O Media just released a statement criticizing the traffic on non-sports Deadspin stories: "While amusing, our readers haven’t actually come to Deadspin for stories like 'Classic Rock, Ranked,' or 'You’re Goddamn Right It’s Layering Season,' or 'It’s OK to Logoff.' "

@barry: FYI this is demonstrably false. According to our analytics department, since the start of the year, non-sports posts have on average double the traffic of sports posts.

@ashleyfeinberg: can say with full confidence this is an EXPLICIT lie

---

maxwelltani: G/O spokesperson on Deadspin resignations: "They resigned and we're sorry that they couldn't work within this incredibly broad coverage mandate. We're excited about Deadspin's future and we'll have some important updates in the coming days."

@GrantBrisbee: Every writer who takes one of these jobs sucks, and they should be hounded until they fall off the edge of the internet.

@AdiJoseph: Getting full-time work in this industry is not an easy thing. There obviously are many questions about what taking a job like this would even mean, but I can't look down on someone who sees it as a big break.

@GrantBrisbee: Taking a job at a place that's drawn a line in the sand and said, "Stick to sports" is inherently political. If you're okay with that, okay, your politics are more malleable. But list all of the reasons you think it's okay and replace "Deadspin" with "Breitbart." Still good?

[...]

@GrantBrisbee: If Deadspin was failing because of politics/dog/candy content, and new owners were desperate to fix it, fine. But that's why the site was successful. So why would they change that? The answer to that question is why I wouldn't have respect for the new writers. It's political.

@AdiJoseph:yes, I agree the decision to change the brand position was wrongheaded and broken. I simply don't think we should take that out on some longtime freelancer who finally gets a chance to have benefits or a 22-year-old looking to write for a national audience.

@GrantBrisbee: My initial reaction was emotional, and no, I won't picket out in front of houses or call them scabs. But "it's hard to find jobs" goes only so far. There's a reason these jobs are available now, and it's ghoulish! People should reflect on that, at the very least.

posted by tonycpsu at 9:49 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Can Quality Journalism Exist in an Age of Extremist Capitalism?In short, I think the answer is basically no. (Erik Loomis, Lawyers, Guns & Money)
But now we now live in an era of venture capitalist schemes, where rank idiots stumble into massive wealth and believe that they are rich because they are smarter than everyone else. When this happens, as it did in the initial Gilded Age, these morons run roughshod over the world around them. [...] Simply put, journalism cannot create the kinds of instant profits venture capitalists want.
Alternative: Twitter thread
posted by postmortemsalmon at 9:59 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


I hadn't heard of G/O Media before but their wikipedia page is delightfully vandalized right now:

"Former Forbes executive Jim Spanfeller became the CEO of G/O Media. He is now best known for being the dipshit who killed Deadspin. [3]"
posted by jermsplan at 10:01 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


G/O Media was created specifically as the umbrella company for the former Gawker outlets after venture capital firm Great Hill Partners bought them earlier this year.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 10:23 AM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Magary, signing off (for now): This Is How It’s Gonna Work
I am not bullshitting you when I say that Deadspin’s voice shaped me far more than my voice shaped it. For over a decade, I’ve been the guy parachuting in every few days to yell YOU DICKHEADS at NFL owners before going back to my parenting duties. Meanwhile, a coterie of other writers, all with brilliant voices, helped mold the site into a place entirely its own, one I have loved to read top to bottom (though my now former colleagues will tell you that I always dropped news into the Slack after they had already posted about it, a practice they called “drewing” for years and years), and one that influenced me on a daily basis.

I have had five-and-a-half EICs in my time here. All six of those people shielded me from the bureaucratic and political horseshit that typically engulfs any media company, this one included. The last one and her hubby helped convince ER doctors that I was in mortal danger when those doctors didn’t think my life was in any danger at all. Her replacement kept us protected from all the garbage cascading down from the Great Hill front office until, at long last, none of us could keep at it bay.

I swear to god, if you knew the OCEAN of bullshit that these people—along with deputy editors, union reps, the astonishing Victor, and the art and video departments—had to hold back every day so that the rest of us could do what we did, and so that this place wouldn’t become stupefied in a way its detractors would just ADORE (but not enough to entice them to actually come read it), you’d buy them endless rounds. You know a bit about that right now, but not nearly all of it. Thanks to those aforementioned guardian angels, Deadspin remained Deadspin far longer than many of us thought it could. A decade ago, this site was on verge of getting demoted to the Yankees tag on Gawker. But it held on. It stuck.

That tenacity and that defiance won’t go away. They may drift to other places on the internet, but good fucking luck ever trying to snuff them out. Everyone who has ever worked here has felt some ownership of Deadspin, as have I. It’s a bitter truth that none of us have ever technically owned it. The one time I had some equity in this joint, a vampiric billionaire and a horny wrestler and and a braindead Florida jury all conspired to render it literally worthless. Now a private equity firm has finally come along to finish the job for good, and render Deadspin spiritually worthless. [...]

Thank you for your support of Deadspin. You’ve been a wonderful audience and I send you out into the day wishing you peace and joy. We’re not done, you and I. We’ll see each other again.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:38 AM on October 31 [12 favorites]


Considering that everyone who didn't quit yesterday has either quit today or is throwing stuff up on the site as a prelude to quitting, I wonder whether they'll just shutter the site or try to hire a bunch of Barstool wannabes to preside over a site with a tenth of the traffic.
posted by Copronymus at 10:39 AM on October 31 [2 favorites]


At one point, they wheeled me on a gurney down to a lower level for a CT scan, and I found myself under the delusion that I was being taken into an audition for Suicide Squad 2. Not only that, I thought that the studio had made the executive decision to merge the DC cinematic universe with the Harry Potter cinematic universe, hence my character would be a new addition to the bad guy squad, but ALSO a Hogwarts train proctor. Larry King says Suicide Squad 2: Why So Sirius? will be the nonstop thrill ride of the summer!

In the silver lining department, I had never hear of Drew Magary before this thread and now I have read his account, on Deadspin, of waking up after a two-week medically induced coma. The Night the Lights Went Out is great stuff: funny, tender, and utterly devoid of sports. It was filed under "Life's Rich Pageant" and now I will miss Deadspin. Damn you all.
posted by Bella Donna at 10:41 AM on October 31 [4 favorites]


He has a number of FPPs here about him, I think.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:54 AM on October 31


Magary, signing off (for now): This Is How It’s Gonna Work

I'm not crying, you're crying.
posted by Carillon at 11:14 AM on October 31 [3 favorites]


Deadspin Was a Good Website, Jason Koebler, Vice:
Deadspin was important to me not just because it was one of the only places on the internet where I could get sports news that wasn’t lobotomized by the implicit or explicit interests of the major sports leagues and sponsors who dominate the industry, but because it felt like home. Drew Magary’s Funbag on Tuesday and Jamboroo on Thursday, Barry’s 9 am blogs about whatever happened in the sports world the night before. These were blogs you could count on, and they were a good way to waste five minutes or an hour.
...
The horrifying thing is not just that a dozen talented writers are suddenly out of a job. It’s that it’s still not obvious what comes next. There are increasingly fewer places on the internet like Deadspin. There are few outlets where writers can just write things that people want to read without pulling punches on the rich and powerful people they are beholden to. There are even fewer that simply allow their writers to have Fun Online. We are all worse off for it.
posted by theoddball at 11:49 AM on October 31 [5 favorites]


@vrizov
A common motif amongst these media acquisitions/firings/resignations is management then doubling down, issuing counter-factual statements proving that in fact *they* are right, because they said so. At least some of them are absolutely consciously emboldened by POTUS.

This overlaps with management's other desire, also shared by POTUS, which is not just to have power, but to demand love, and whine when it is not given to such lovable people.

The normalization of illiteracy, or rather the elimination of literacy as a prerequisite to executive compensation, long precedes our 45th president, though he's certainly helped speed it along.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:25 PM on October 31 [6 favorites]


The Ringer: The Mavening of Sports Media

("Maven" is the group of venture ghouls that recently tore out the heart of Sports Illustrated's online operations)
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:11 PM on October 31 [2 favorites]


Also, Drew posted his final (abbreviated) Jamboroo at the same personal sub-blog that's hosting his farewell.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 1:14 PM on October 31


Something I’m noticing is that my first internet thing of the day isn’t deadspin anymore, it’s Twitter (and that feels like a terrible step down in terms of just about everything).

For anyone wondering about who or what barstool sports is, Deadspin write a absolute ton about them. It’s the playground of a bunch of entitled pricks who slavishly follow the whims of a guy who’s decided, fuck no, making gay jokes is funny, and women should laugh when told to make sandwiches, and their following is depressingly large, because there really are a lot of people out there who still want a place to laugh at shit that in real life would get them a visit from HR.

Of course, the best and most fun part of it is that their fans will do whatever is asked, and if the guy at the top says “hey, go on twitter en masse and ruin that person’s life” their readers will gleefully do it.

Depending on who announced what about leaving deadspin, the twitter feeds have been full of stoolies (seriously, they call themselves that) laugh and tagging the leader of the site. It’s not surprising that the volume of noise is higher in the announcements by women. One of the writers of the site just posted about how quitting a job because you don’t like your boss is a “pussy move” and, because the world is not without some decency, was roasted for it.

Or, most simply, the site was described as “a site written by and for guys who ‘don’t get to see the kids.’”
posted by Ghidorah at 4:35 PM on October 31 [6 favorites]




Yeah Bernie!!
posted by windbox at 7:45 PM on October 31 [3 favorites]


“Un-Deadspin,” Alex N. Press, Jacobin, 31 October 2019
posted by ob1quixote at 7:57 PM on October 31


there really are a lot of people out there who still want a place to laugh at shit that in real life would get them a visit from HR.

Probably not from Barstool H.R.!
posted by atoxyl at 9:23 PM on October 31 [1 favorite]


Yeah Bernie!!

This is the weirdest thing to me, although it's a positive thing.

Do you think Bernie Sanders ever read Deadspin?
posted by atoxyl at 11:25 PM on October 31


the story of deadspin's end is really a story about the entire digital media ecosystem, which is being torn up for parts by venture capitalists and billionaires. bernie sanders understands that, which is why he's been showing support all year to media workers organizing at their outlets.
posted by JimBennett at 12:16 AM on November 1 [5 favorites]


This whole situation sucks, but like Carillon I'm mostly struck by the apparent impotence of their union, whose responses have been so ineffectual they're verging on parody. I get that their CBA has a no-strike clause, which takes away a lot of leverage, but surely given the multiple violations of said CBA by management there's some legal avenue that could be pursued beyond mass resignations. What was the point of fighting to secure a union if it's not going to protect them in scenarios like this? It makes me wonder about the effectiveness of the similar union pushes at other online media networks.

Also, while I've never been a Deadspin reader myself, I wonder what effect this fiasco will have on other G/O properties. Most of them have been watered down to the point I read them for information only rather than any great love for their site culture, but if they try pulling this censorious shit with The Onion I'm going to be pissed.
posted by Rhaomi at 7:22 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


Diana Moskovitz: Sports Blogs, Ranked
1) Getting hit by a car

2) Deadspin
posted by tonycpsu at 7:52 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


What was the point of fighting to secure a union if it's not going to protect them in scenarios like this?

I'm still puzzled that they don't seem to have tried for any of the remedies the CBA does provide for in disputes. Arbitration is stacked toward the company but still a better first option than quitting en masse. That said, the union did end up helping them a lot in the Univision years and the first wave of G/O bullshit, including giving the staff leverage to convert a bunch of planned layoffs into buyouts and doubtless averting what would have been a bunch of pay/benefit cuts as soon as Great Hill took over, so it wasn't completely worthless.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:19 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


I guess it ends with a tweet from Megan Greenwell:

And with that, it's over. Deadspin no longer employs a single writer or editor. I am gutted but so very proud of this group of people.

Deadspin was a good website

posted by Ghidorah at 8:36 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


What was the point of fighting to secure a union if it's not going to protect them in scenarios like this?

I'm still puzzled that they don't seem to have tried for any of the remedies the CBA does provide for in disputes.


This wasn't a dispute that any arbitrator, CBA, or union was going to be able to solve. The space between what management wanted and what the Deadspin staff was willing to provide was too great. None of them signed on to Deadspin because they wanted to "stick to sports", and Spanfeller et al clearly weren't interested in any sort of enforceable editorial independence.
posted by Etrigan at 8:41 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


Whether they were interested or not, editorial independence was literally written into the CBA in black and white. Not fighting to enforce that at all (at least in any public way) sends a message to other owners that they can ignore similar agreements with their own unions and the worst that will happen is that they'll be rid of employees they wish they could fire outright anyway.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:01 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


Whether they were interested or not, editorial independence was literally written into the CBA in black and white.

Maybe you should inform the people who were actually working with that management under the auspices of that CBA that they had a slam-dunk case to strike a blow for workers, because it sure looks like every editor and writer employed by Deadspin didn't feel that way.
posted by Etrigan at 9:20 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


Management finally figured out how to make a post, so we have fully entered the era of Spanfeller Deadspin, and boy, what a doozy (just a link to a Twitter screenshot, so don't worry, you're not giving them traffic). Someone could probably write a million words on how perfectly it captures the mindset of the idiots running the site now that their bid for a return to normalcy is two sentences, a headline, and a picture, all combining of the universe's most superficial Go Troops pablum with genuflecting at Prince Harry. I can barely imagine the person who would bother to click on a link to this.

My hope, now that literally everyone has quit and there's no possibility that the original site can be saved, is that the new site is such a disaster that they can't even sell it like they're obviously planning to, so at least these assholes get some small amount of financial pain for all of this.
posted by Copronymus at 9:42 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Look, I'm not the one who publicly said the "stick to sports" directive was unenforceable under the CBA (multiple times!) or that Barry Petchesky's firing for refusing to abide by it "would not stand." I'm also not the one who brought up that unilaterally removing posts from the site violates the CBA. That was the union and its members. To make those arguments in public but not back them up in any formal way strikes me as a worse move than just skipping straight to the resignations on principle. It makes me wonder if the larger WGA completely failed to have their back, or what.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:44 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Diana Moskovitz is using the system to its fullest on her way out. She managed to create a Deadspin post with comments on for folks to say goodbye, and gave a battlefield promotion to Dave McKenna.
posted by range at 10:22 AM on November 1 [4 favorites]


Wow, at least the new overlords are making my decision to remove Deadspin's from my RSS reader by making it crystal clear that they want it to be another generic clickbaity content mill. I figured they'd just hire a bunch of scabs to pretend to care about sports coverage for a while. Would love to see how badly the site metrics are cratering right now.

R.I.P. to a good website. F.O.A.D. to G/O douchebags.
posted by tonycpsu at 10:33 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


Management finally figured out how to make a post

Or maybe not?

@tomgara: Update/correction: these aren't the first posts of the zombie Deadspin era, they're well-executed meta-jokes by a remnant Deadspin staffer with CMS access
posted by Lexica at 10:56 AM on November 1 [8 favorites]


Deadspin wasn't my thing, but I'm sad to see it go, especially like this. And I have to say this article is brilliant.
Being able to move on quickly from a devastating collapse, one full of what-ifs and regrets, is a truly impressive feat. The Astros—who had come back from a 2-0 series deficit, who had won three straight games at Nationals Park, who compiled the best regular-season record in baseball this year—were right there. They had Cole; they didn’t use him. Attribute it to miscommunication, mismanagement, or whatever you want. The opportunity was lost. The Astros are left to assess their mistakes and attempt to rebuild a pitching staff as fearsome as this one. Cole is free to go somewhere else, somewhere that can use his talents.
posted by jeather at 10:58 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


The dread hand of private equity ended up killing Deadspin (Jack Moore, Guardian)
The separation of sports from the real world is a pipe dream. How can you attend a publicly funded stadium filled with primarily white and rich fans watching teams filled with men of color from underprivileged backgrounds in the country with the widest income inequality gap in the world without seeing politics? As the GMG Union representing Deadspin employees succinctly put it in a statement Wednesday, “‘Stick to sports’ is and always has been a thinly veiled euphemism for ‘don’t speak truth to power.’”
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:07 AM on November 1 [3 favorites]


Update/correction: these aren't the first posts of the zombie Deadspin era, they're well-executed meta-jokes by a remnant Deadspin staffer with CMS access

Wow, that's a really good bit. Looks like they also just posted a short documentary about high school cricketers in New York that's not a joke but is pretty good.
posted by Copronymus at 11:19 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Look, I'm not the one who publicly said the "stick to sports" directive was unenforceable under the CBA (multiple times!) or that Barry Petchesky's firing for refusing to abide by it "would not stand."

I am also wondering exactly what happened with this. I would have thought they'd at least want to make G/O go through the process of firing everybody.

I get the sense that staff took what happened to Barry and the damage-control efforts from management very personally and then once a couple more beloved editors quit nobody else even wanted to be there any more.
posted by atoxyl at 11:34 AM on November 1


Looks like this is the actual first post of the new era and, uh, yikes. And I don't think it's a joke, meta or otherwise, as the author is currently taking active flak on Twitter from the former Deadspin staff.

Without going all the way into what this post is (or ain't), let's just note it manages to misuse the term "begs the question" twice within about five grafs...
posted by theoddball at 11:40 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


He's a professional ghostwriter, which would have felt a bit on the nose back before reality broke in half.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 11:45 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]




Looks like this is the actual first post of the new era and, uh, yikes.

So they really are going after Barstool clicks, huh?
posted by tobascodagama at 11:47 AM on November 1


@ashleyfeinberg: Hey Alan, big fan here, can you turn on the comments for the post

Scabby McScaberson is also getting dunked on by the dudes who run Mike Gravel's Twitter, which seems like a nice resume-builder to add to his distinguished musical career.
posted by tonycpsu at 11:48 AM on November 1


He deleted the tweet (no surprise), but managed to ring up a truly hall of fame ratio before wiping it.
posted by theoddball at 11:56 AM on November 1 [2 favorites]


...and, just like that, he gone. Chalk one up for the Leftist Cancel Culture Mob Justice Squad!
posted by tonycpsu at 11:56 AM on November 1 [1 favorite]


...and, just like that, he gone.

Not that he's in any way a hero, but I'm a little impressed that he's approaching this as "whoa, I shouldn't have done that, I'll stop" instead of "hey fuck you snowflakes."
posted by COBRA! at 12:00 PM on November 1 [9 favorites]


Assuming he's sincere (and what the hell, it's Friday afternoon), I'm adding that series of tweets to the list of surprisingly moving and meaningful things that have come out of this debacle.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 12:09 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


I enjoyed this very short debate from the last editor to leave. Thank you, Diana Moskovitz, and may you also land safely.
posted by Bella Donna at 2:16 PM on November 1




Eventually...EVENTUALLY...Jim and co will realize that some people still have some way of reaching readers.

Also: How to Write an Open Letter to Your Dipshit Boss

And aside from that one guy who thought he was getting a chance to write on a nationally known site, they are republishing old freelancer posts without acknowledging that they are reposts.
posted by LostInUbe at 4:27 PM on November 1


Can someone explain to me the "herb" thing?
posted by jenfullmoon at 4:42 PM on November 1


Basically a loser or idiot or whatever you want it to be. It got used at Deadspin mainly to describe Golden State Warriors fans. Emma Carmichael used it on the site first and though she had left a while ago she resurrected it for Jim Spanfeller.
posted by LostInUbe at 4:49 PM on November 1


As far as the some of the last posts went (the Palestinian soccer team, etc) it was evidently one of the last editors staying on the job to make sure all the freelance stories that had been filed still got published, which, evidently, is the second time he’s done that, after having done it when Vice Sports closed. Once he was done, then he quit.

And now, evidently, Maidment is going back and republishing old freelance articles, wiping out the byline and replacing it with “deadspin staff” as if it’s a new article. Because he’s a goddamn idiot who thinks people won’t remember what they’ve read.
posted by Ghidorah at 4:58 PM on November 1 [2 favorites]


Plus at least one of those freelancers that Roth usually edited, David Bixenspan, has also said that he won't be doing any stuff for Deadspin anymore.
posted by LostInUbe at 5:07 PM on November 1


Can someone explain to me the "herb" thing?

"Warriors Fans Are Herbs" (as in "big dorks") was a photo essay from the height of the team's popularity with self-consciously low-effort captions reiterating the premise. The author of the original redid the whole format for G/O CEO Jim Spanfeller and put it up as a personal blog on Gawker's Kinja platform.
posted by atoxyl at 7:05 PM on November 1 [1 favorite]


Deadspin ‘Scab’ Alan Goldsher Tells All

@BobSaietta: So you know that the blog post that went up today after @deadspin's entire staff quit? It was not assigned by G/O, did not undergo an editorial process with the freelance writer & went online largely untouched from the draft that was filed early Friday.

Also, the freelancer has no idea how much he might be paid, b/c G/O Media never brought it up. The Paul Maidment era at @Deadspin is off to a great start!

Here's how you can get published at Deadspin now. Cold email with some pitches, and when no one responds, just write the story anyway. No worries about pesky editors reworking your prose

posted by tonycpsu at 7:19 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


> and gave a battlefield promotion to Dave McKenna.

Those fucking herby cowards edited the date of that post to bump it off the front page.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:12 PM on November 1 [3 favorites]


looks like Grant Hill might be panicking, they're in talks to sell clickhole to cards against humanity for less than a million dollars.
posted by JimBennett at 10:34 PM on November 1 [4 favorites]


From that WSJ article: The spokesman said the company expected the resignations to have little impact on ad revenue. Deadspin is G/O’s second-largest property by traffic behind Gizmodo, according to Comscore

Umm, I don't think that they're going to get too many ad impressions with zero content.
posted by octothorpe at 4:25 AM on November 2 [7 favorites]




Stacy-Marie Ishmael has a great Twitter thread on this: Imagine spending months fighting for the editorial integrity of a media organisation you helped build in the face of cavalier mismanagement and then having those efforts be described as “feeling that the executives were meddling”.
posted by TwoStride at 8:14 AM on November 3 [1 favorite]


There are a few new articles on the front page that were posted over the weekend but they're just dry descriptions of the results of a couple of football games and a marathon that have all the excitement of a Wikipedia entry. They're all unsigned and just attributed to the author "Deadspin". Comments are still turned off.
posted by octothorpe at 6:43 AM on November 4


@SquinterMedia: headsup, Kinja Users and commenters:

Jim Spanfeller has initiated the process of shutting down the Kinja platform, starting with Kinja Blogs (because people called him a herb, once)

we expect global comments to be disabled sometime in the next 24 hours.

DEADSPIN FOREVER

posted by tonycpsu at 7:57 AM on November 4


Kinja is terrible but this is still a hilarious overreaction that gets less hilarious when you think about how it’s going to kill reader engagement with the remaining G/O blogs that still employ people.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 8:06 AM on November 4 [3 favorites]


WNYC's The Takeaway: How Big Business Killed Deadspin
We talk about the impact of big business taking over media with Megan Greenwell, editor at WIRED.com and former editor-in-chief of Deadspin, and Maxwell Tani, a media reporter for The Daily Beast.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:38 PM on November 4




The most recent front page post is about this travesty, and the body of that post consists of three words.

In my wildest imagination, I could not imagine an effort to keep #content flowing at Deadspin that looked so pathetic. It's like Spanfeller himself is posting blogs in between marathon meetings with creditors and panicked phone calls with advertisers.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:33 PM on November 4 [1 favorite]


The Slate sports podcast, Hang Up And Listen just dropped an episode that's entirely about Deadspin, an hour long interview with three former Deadspin staff. I don't remember them ever doing a single topic episode before.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 4:56 PM on November 4 [2 favorites]


G/O Media Says It's Deleting All Personal Kinja Pages Amid Deadspin Reader Revolt [Update: Maybe Not?] (Lauren Theisen, Vice)
First,
Perhaps because it was unable to control the spread of the herb jokes, G/O Media has decided to nuke user pages altogether. The company placed this message at the top of all personal Kinja blogs, informing the community that their pages will soon be deleted:

Dear Kinja User,

We're writing to advise you that G/O Media, which operates the Kinja platform, will be discontinuing Kinja user pages. Accordingly, any content which you have posted to your Kinja page will be deleted in the coming weeks, and it will not be accessible after deletion. Should you wish to retain that content, you should make a copy of it for your personal records now. Comments posted to G/O Media's websites by Kinja users will not be affected by this change. Note that at this time we have set blogs to read-only. If you have any questions about this change to the Kinja platform, please contact us at hr@g-omedia.com.

Sincerely,

G/O Media
Followed by:
Update 12:41: G/O Media now says that it is "reevaluating the options for maintaining Kinja user pages and they will remain accessible at this time."
posted by ZeusHumms at 10:17 PM on November 4


Obviously there's still a lot of ways this could play out, and things have a way of working out just fine for people who are already rich, but, man, the Great Hill people look stupider and stupider with every move they make. If there had been one group of Internet people I would have suggested no one ever get into a fight with, it would be the people who write for Gawker properties, not just because they emphatically exemplify the line about never arguing with people who buy ink by the barrel, but even within the world of Internet journalists, these would be the ones who have most self-selected for meanness, funniness, desire to start shit, and least amount of giving a fuck about authority figures, which is pretty much the full force of what G/O management got. Continues to get, really, since they can't even wrangle control of basic stuff like Deadspin's Twitter. Plus, the turmoil since it went into bankruptcy on top of the general nature of Internet writing jobs means there's a GMG diaspora that extends to tons and tons of media outlets, so the coverage of this has been overwhelmingly sympathetic to the former Deadspin staff. Even now that the major action seems to be over, it's wild to watch Spanfeller and Maidment blunder around idiotically, suddenly shuttering and then equally suddenly un-shuttering basic site features and trying to hawk one of the brands that still has value for couch-cushion money.
posted by Copronymus at 12:03 AM on November 5 [3 favorites]


david roth was on this week's episode of chapo trap house to talk about all this, he really provided some insight into the type of guy spanfeller is
posted by JimBennett at 12:11 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


That they even brought up deleting the user pages shows an astounding lack of thought. I’ve never really explored the user pages, but I always thought it was interesting that Kotaku had a regular roundup of user content. User content. Unpaid, yet with ads on it, shit they were actually making free money off of, and more than that, a sign of how deeply invested the readers of each site were, and rather than engage and cultivate that, their feelings are hurt because people are (rightly) calling them incompetent morons, their initial instinct is just to burn the whole thing to the ground, alienating the hell out of their remaining loyal customers.

Fucking. Idiots.

It’s this kind of stuff that makes the conspiracy rabbit hole so appealing. I mean, does anyone know if Great Hill is connected to Thiel? Going with the Occam’s razor thing, which is it? That these guys are so utterly incompetent that they bought the one network that they absolutely shouldn’t have, and fucked it up so badly, so many times that this is where we are, or that this is all utterly intentional, and someone decided to buy the network just to destroy it as a lesson to anyone who might dare speak truth to power?
posted by Ghidorah at 2:19 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


Paul Maidment has resigned from G/O Media

Not where I thought this was going, but you know what, I'll take it.
posted by Holy Zarquon's Singing Fish at 9:07 AM on November 5 [5 favorites]


Paul Maidment has resigned from G/O Media

Truly impressive that the entire writing staff of Deadspin has suddenly resigned for the third time in a week.
posted by Copronymus at 9:11 AM on November 5 [17 favorites]


Paul Maidment has resigned from G/O Media

His final straw must have been Reductress severing ties.
posted by Etrigan at 9:13 AM on November 5 [1 favorite]


Will Leitch: What Will Become of Deadspin’s Corpse?
posted by tonycpsu at 9:48 AM on November 5 [2 favorites]


I feel like sending them a couple of stories just so I can also resign from Deadspin.

1. “Who’s this asshole?”
2. “Why is Deadspin suddenly all about the Memphis Grizzlies?”
3. “Wow, the last guy at Deadspin quit again!”
posted by Huffy Puffy at 11:18 AM on November 5 [4 favorites]


New Funbag up at Vice.
posted by Chrysostom at 2:07 PM on November 5 [4 favorites]


looks like Grant Hill might be panicking, they're in talks to sell clickhole to cards against humanity for less than a million dollars.

WOW would that be a good pairing. And I don't even like CAH.
posted by rorgy at 2:34 PM on November 5


@UnDeadspin — a Twitter account that retweets former Deadspinners who are writing elsewhere

For those like me who don't tweet, here's a TwitRSS feed for the above.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:44 PM on November 6 [5 favorites]


Alex Pareene, New Republic: The Death of the Rude Press
Deadspin was rude. This was almost its defining characteristic. It was rude, by and large, to people who deserved it: amoral and venal team owners, predatory sports media personalities, bandwagon Warriors fans. Splinter was notoriously rude, just as Gawker was rude before it, to figures at the towering summit of influence and craven strivers who wished to join their ranks. In an earlier era of digital publishing, Suck was rude (just look at the name the site’s founders chose for themselves, back when online magazines called themselves high-minded things like Salon). Rudeness in media was not invented alongside the the web browser. The Village Voice in its heyday was rude as hell. Rolling Stone was often rude, except to Jann Wenner’s friends. Mad was so rude that it only survived comic book censors by becoming a magazine. Some of America’s greatest journalists and critics, from Ambrose Bierce to H.L. Mencken to Dorothy Parker, were decidedly rude.

Rudeness is not merely a tone. It is an attitude. The defining quality of rude media is skepticism about power, and a refusal to respect the niceties that power depends on to disguise itself and maintain its dominance. It’s often hard for me to imagine that anyone can grow up in this era and not end up doubting the competence and motives of nearly everyone in charge of nearly every American institution, but some of us grow up instead to be Bari Weiss. [...]

If the news media has no place for journalists and critics and columnists who voice contempt for people like Peter Thiel and Jim Spanfeller and Bret Stephens, then you will read and see no news from people who have these entirely compelling ideas about Thiel, Spanfeller, and Stephens. It turns out that even the bygone, now-lamented golden age of the blog was a diminution of rudeness’s influence. If your local media has no place for people who voice contempt for your city’s police chief, say, or your state’s attorney general, or the publisher of your city’s largest newspaper, all of those people will feel more comfortable in abusing their power. They will grind you down, and in the process, they’ll tell you to be civil about it.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:06 AM on November 7 [13 favorites]


Alex Pareene: The Death of the Rude Press
Rudeness is not merely a tone. It is an attitude. The defining quality of rude media is skepticism about power, and a refusal to respect the niceties that power depends on to disguise itself and maintain its dominance. It’s often hard for me to imagine that anyone can grow up in this era and not end up doubting the competence and motives of nearly everyone in charge of nearly every American institution, but some of us grow up instead to be Bari Weiss.
posted by neroli at 8:07 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]


lol jinx
posted by tonycpsu at 8:08 AM on November 7 [2 favorites]


So the finance goon is out, as well as the editorial goon...
posted by ominous_paws at 12:28 PM on November 7


Let's Remember Some G/Oons
posted by tonycpsu at 3:17 PM on November 7 [2 favorites]


What Ruined Deadspin Winner: Jim Spanfeller

Peter Thiel was robbed.
posted by tonycpsu at 4:58 PM on November 11 [3 favorites]


It would be great to have Deadspin for commentary on the Don Cherry situation....
posted by Chrysostom at 8:20 PM on November 11


Opinion: I Was Fired From Deadspin for Refusing to ‘Stick to Sports’ - Barry Petchesky for The New York Times.

tonycpsu’s comment above to a Twitter feed with all former Deadspinners is worth following.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:18 PM on November 11 [1 favorite]


and here's one (Twitter, RSS) for Splinter.
posted by tonycpsu at 1:06 PM on November 13


Lawsuits: G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller Fostered Hostile Work Environment for Women
“It was immediately evident that the ‘new regime’ was white men, cronies from Spanfeller’s past,” Jarrard’s complaint says. “SPANFELLER had no interest in mining the company of existing talent, particularly female, but rather to bring in his old cronies from his time at Playboy, Forbes or elsewhere.”
posted by tonycpsu at 9:16 AM on November 16 [4 favorites]


It's been almost a month now, and I have yet to find a suitable Deadspin replacement, or even a set of sites that comes close to scratching the same itch. The nitwits who are in charge there haven't even been able to feed itAs with wire stories or "user-created content" as they said they wanted. It's just sitting there, frozen in time, waiting for someone to pull the plug.

As this thread comes to a close, I just wanted to say:

Deadspin was a good website.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:33 AM on November 28 [2 favorites]


Seems like Vice scooped up a bunch of the Deadspin writers.
posted by tobascodagama at 7:42 AM on November 28 [1 favorite]


Yeah, not fond of what I've seen from Vice so far. Will read the Magary columns when I see them, but as a daily read, Vice's coverage isn't doing it for me. Plus they don't have an RSS feed for the sports section, only the whole website. Will keep an eye on it to see if things get better though.
posted by tonycpsu at 8:29 AM on November 28


Magary's Funbag columns seem exactly the same to me, fwiw.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:54 AM on November 28


It's sad to see the number of Deadspin articles trickle down when I check feedly every day.

Count me in as one of those who hasn't found a Deadspin substitute. Unless I'm checking twitter at any given moment, the amount of sports coverage I read has gone down significantly.

At least a couple of writers have found gainful employment with various publications. Vice is problematic but it seems like the logical place for some of them. It used to have a separate sports section but they shut down, which is actually what brought David Roth to Deadspin.
posted by LostInUbe at 2:05 PM on November 28


I’ve been following undeadspin on twitter, which links to articles written by the former deadspin writers, but very few of them seem to have landed elsewhere so far. It seems Hamilton Nolan is at least contributing at the Guardian, but nothing steady yet.

Honestly, not only have I not found anything to replace deadspin and splinter, it seems the rest of the sites are publishing less and less frequently. In general, I’ve noticed myself just following sports less, because maybe I just never noticed that I’d grown out of checking box scores and had mostly just been following the stuff that Deadspin was covering. Yes, they’d have the highlights that shouldn’t be missed, but they had the stories that made up the backbone of the reasons we watch sports, and with SI becoming a exploitative content mill, I guess all that’s left is the Ringer, which just never seemed to be as willing to accept the political or downright ugly side of sports. Deadspin covered that unflinchingly, but also never lost the idea that we watch sports because deep down, it’s fun.

Fuck, I miss it. Just another good thing gone that I have to get used to not being a part of life anymore.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:15 AM on November 29 [3 favorites]


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