Deadspin logo A Deadspin logo.

There’s yet another twist in the saga of the site bearing the name Deadspin.

That 2005-founded site has been through many transitions over the years. Those have seen various prominent head editors with wildly-differing styles, including Will Leitch, A.J. Daulerio, and Tommy Craggs. There’s also been significant ownership change, from Gawker Media owning the site from 2005-16, then subsequent ownership by Univision Communications (2016-19 out of the Gawker bankruptcy around Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit) and Great Hill Partners (through their G/O Media holding company, 2019-present). There was then a dramatic change in personnel when G/O fired Barry Petchesky in 2019, the entire staff resigned in protest, and G/O hired new writers to publish on the domain.

Now, that domain looks to have been sold again, and with more accompanying staff turmoil. Senior writer Julie DiCaro posted on Twitter/X Monday that the “site had been sold to a European startup and they’re not taking any staff. Already locked out a company slack and our laptops.”

Soon after that, Axios’ Sara Fischer published a memo from G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller to all G/O Media staffers on Twitter, relaying the news of the sale to Lineup Publishing. (DiCaro noted that the Deadspin staff did not receive that, as they were already locked out of company email at that point.) Here’s the full text of that memo, which managed to even spell Deadspin “Deadpin” at one point.

“Recently we were approached by the European firm Lineup Publishing expressing interest in purchasing Deadspin to add to their growing media holdings. Lineup Publishing is a newly formed digital media company described in their words as ‘dedicated to creating, acquiring and managing high quality media brands across a variety of sectors.’ After careful consideration, the G/O Media board of directors has decided to accept their offer. I do want to make it clear that we were not actively shopping Deadspin. The rationale behind the decision to sell included a variety of important factors that include the buyer’s editorial plans for the brand, tough competition in the sports journalism sector, and a valuation that represented a sizable premium from our original purchase price for the site.”

“Deadspin’s new owners have made the decision to not carry over any of the site’s existing staff and instead build a new team more in line with their editorial vision for the brand. While the new owners plan to be reverential to Deadpin’s [sic] unique voice, they plan to take a different content approach regarding the site’s overall sports coverage. This unfortunately means that we will be parting ways with those impacted staff members, who were notified earlier today. I would like to thank them for their hard work and efforts that helped make Deadspin stand out in the crowded sports media space.”

“As I mentioned in our all-hands meeting in December, we are always actively reviewing our portfolio and operations to make sure we are prioritizing resources to best meet the needs of our readers and advertisers. Although we are seeing some improvement so far this year on the advertising front, and I am cautiously optimistic this will continue, we are cognizant of the need to focus on the core sites we feel can best prosper in the current and future media business environment.”

“These decisions are never easy, but this represents a step to keep G/O Media focused, nimble, and financially sound into the future.”

While this looks to be a different buyer than the GRV Ventures purchase of the domain name of MMA site Bloody Elbow last week, there seems to be some crossover. Another European firm is mainly buying the domain name, announcing plans to restart with a whole new staff.

The “reverential to Deadspin’s unique voice” is certainly an interesting line. Many would describe that voice as vastly different during the many other periods of Deadspin, especially since the 2019 mass resignations over management interference that removed any links to past staff. But we’ll see who winds up working there, what the “voice” winds up being, and who winds up reading it.

[Sara Fischer on Twitter/X]

About Andrew Bucholtz

Andrew Bucholtz has been covering sports media for Awful Announcing since 2012. He is also a staff writer for The Comeback. His previous work includes time at Yahoo! Sports Canada and Black Press.