Deadspin writers give up after being ordered to stay to sports activities

Writers Laura Wagner, Kelsey McKinney, Tom Ley, Lauren Theisen, Patrick Redford, Albert Burneko and Chris Thompson all tweeted right now that they’ve resigned from Deadspin, the sports-focused web site owned by G/O Media.

A fast refresher: G/O Media was previously often known as Gizmodo Media Group, and earlier than that as Gawker Media. It took on its present title and present management earlier this yr when Univision bought the unit to personal fairness agency Nice Hill Companions, who appointed former Forbes.com CEO Jim Spanfeller as its new chief govt.

Since then, the connection between G/O Media management and the editorial workers has been rocky, as you’d have realized by studying Deadspin itself, notably an in-depth story by Wagner in August about how workers had been sad with “a scarcity of communication relating to firm objectives, seeming disregard for selling variety throughout the prime ranks of the corporate, and by repeated and egregious interference with editorial procedures.”

Just a few weeks later, Deadspin’s editor in chief Megan Greenwell resigned, saying that G/O Media’s new editorial director Paul Maidment was directing the workers to stay to sports activities protection — a call that she argued wasn’t dictated by visitors, since “posts on The Concourse, Deadspin’s vertical devoted to politics and tradition and different subjects that aren’t sports activities, outperform posts on the primary web site by barely greater than two to at least one.”

Apparently Maidment repeated that edict in a memo earlier this week, which was leaked to The Day by day Beast, and by which he mentioned, “Deadspin will write solely about sports activities and that which is related to sports activities not directly.”

The Deadspin homepage was subsequently full of non-sports content material, and editor Barry Petchesky tweeted that he had been “fired from Deadspin for not sticking to sports activities.”

On the similar time, Deadspin additionally posted a narrative criticizing auto-playing advertisements on the location, declaring, “We, the writers, editors, and video producers of Deadspin, are as upset with the present state of our web site’s consumer expertise as you might be.” The put up is not dwell, however the criticism reportedly prompted advertiser Farmers Insurance coverage to tug the marketing campaign.

This all seems to have prompted a mass exodus from Deadspin right now. The Gizmodo Media Group union additionally issued this assertion:

At present, a lot of our colleagues at Deadspin resigned from their positions. From the outset, CEO Jim Spanfeller has labored to undermine a profitable web site by curbing its most well-read protection as a result of it makes him personally uncomfortable. This isn’t what journalism appears like and it’s not what editorial independence appears like.

“Persist with sports activities” is and all the time has been a thinly veiled euphemism for “don’t converse fact to energy.” Along with being dangerous enterprise, Spanfeller’s actions are morally reprehensible. The GMG Union stands with our present and former Deadspin colleagues and condemns Jim Spanfeller within the strongest potential phrases.

We’ve reached out to G/O Media for remark and can replace if we hear again.

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