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  • Deadspin writers and editors Tom Ley, Kelsey McKinney, Albert Burneko, Patrick Redford, Lauren Thiesen, Chris Thompson, and Laura Wagner all resigned Wednesday in the wake of a series of missteps by private equity goons Jim Spanfeller and Paul Maidment. Editor Diana Moskovitz had privately put in notice weeks ago, and interim editor-in-chief Barry Petchesky was fired by Spanfeller on Tuesday after the site posted four non-sports stories, rejecting a hardline stick-to-sports memo from Maidment.  Petchesky was running the site after former EIC Megan Greenwell left in a very public disagreement with Spanfeller and Maidment, which she documented on her final day. Central to her issues with ownership was Maidment’s insistence that the site be “laser-focused” on sports. Advertisement  On Monday, Maidment sent a memo to staff codifying that focus, directing the site to refrain from writing about topics that did not involve sports. “Deadspin will write only about sports and that which is relevant to sports in some way,” he wrote. Deadspin, a sports website founded in 2005, rose to prominence in part thanks to a robust and well-moderated comment section. Commenters sent in newsworthy tips, and several rose to become staffers. As G/O Media, Deadspin’s corporate owner, came under siege on Wednesday, it turned off comments. Readers were deluging every story on the site with comments criticizing ownership.  The stick-to-sports fight followed a separate, but closely related, fight over sound-on autoplay ads. Deadspin and its G/O sister sites (Kotaku, The Root, Jezebel, Gizmodo, Jalopnik and Lifehacker) all posted statements criticizing the ads, only to have management pull down the posts. The Daily Beast reported Wednesday that Farmer’s Insurance pulled out of the million-dollar deal, while the Wall Street Journal reported that the autoplay decision was made because G/O had massively overpromised the amount of times the ads could be viewed. In apparent retribution for the deal falling through, G/O informed the sites that several open positions would no longer be filled.  (Disclosure: I worked at Deadspin from 2017 to 2018.)

    Comments

    Tom Jones says:

    Wait? I though their Union was going to save them??? LOL

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