DK Pittsburgh Sports has been plagued by rapid turnover for most of its history, and things seem to be only getting worse in the wake of a Deadspin report on founder Dejan Kovacevic’s workplace behavior.
On Monday, DK Pittsburgh Sports’ popular Penguins reporter Matt Gajtka announced on Twitter that he was immediately resigning from his position at the site, having just covered the NHL All-Star Game.
“Due to recent events, I feel I can no longer affiliate myself with Dejan Kovacevic or the company he founded,” Gajtka wrote in a statement.
— Matt Gajtka (@MattGajtka) January 29, 2018
Gajtka’s resignation comes days after college basketball writer Chris Mueller left DK Pittsburgh Sports without specifying a reason for his departure.
Today, I resigned from my position with DK Pittsburgh Sports. Thanks to all who followed along with my work. I’m not entirely sure what’s next, but there are several different avenues I’m planning to explore.
— Chris Mueller (@bychrismueller) January 25, 2018
The Deadspin article, published last week, relayed stories from former DK Pittsburgh Sports employees of Kovacevic’s harsh management style, as well as several incidents of alleged sexual misconduct. One reporter told Deadspin that Kovacevic offered to give her an (unpaid) job if she would have a threesome with him and his wife. Later, she said, he commented about her breasts to a colleague. Kovacevic denied both charges.
This is not the first wave of allegations about Kovacevic’s behavior as editor of DK Pittsburgh Sports. Last June, a former reporter at the site accused Kovacevic of spying on his Twitter direct messages. Then, in an essay published to Medium late last year, ex-staffer Katie Brown wrote that Kovacevic had been over-bearing and insulting in his criticism, prompting Kovacevic to apologize publicly for being “a really bad boss.”
Earlier this month, before Deadspin’s recent piece was published, Kovacevic announced he was stepping down from his editor-in-chief role and would merely write columns for the site he founded, as his wife Dali and Steelers writer Dale Lolley took over his previous responsibilities.
DK Pittsburgh Sports has undergone so much turnover since its founding in 2014 that a Twitter account, @DK_Turmoil, sprouted up to track it. By one count, more than 20 writers have abruptly left the site — even before the two most recent defections.
— Alan Saunders (@ASaunders_PGH) November 26, 2017
We can’t know for sure whether DK Pittsburgh Sports will survive this wave of allegations, but given the public relations hits, the exodus of writers, and the launch of a direct competitor in The Athletic Pittsburgh, it’s not a stretch to think the site’s best days are behind it.