Deadspin has spent the last seven months looking for a full-time editor-in-chief to replace Eric Barrow, who stepped into the role after Jim Rich was elevated to G/O Media editorial director in early 2020. It appears they have finally found their new EIC.
It’s Jim Rich.
“Rich returns to Deadspin after working on a variety of consulting projects including development work at A&E Networks,” read an Editor & Publisher article on Rich’s re-hiring. “Prior to that, he served as editorial director of G/O Media as well as editor in chief of Deadspin, where he successfully relaunched the site.”
Before his first stint with Deadspin, Rich was the New York Daily News editor-in-chief. Following the mass exodus of the pre-G/O Media Deadspin staff, he was hired to “save” the sports outlet, saying at the time that “I don’t want to see Deadspin die.” The site began publishing again in March 2020 but Rich left the role a month later to become editorial director of G/O Media. He stayed put until July 2021 when he abruptly resigned due to internal clashes with “other higher-ups at the company,” per Maxwell Tani at The Daily Beast.
In the time since, G/O Media has found itself in a seemingly never-ending cycle of tension with its writing staff, which was recently exacerbated by the introduction of poorly written articles generated by artificial intelligence, something that the company’s own writers have publicly mocked.
“Jim Rich is one of the most talented sports editors working today and more broadly one of journalism’s most creative leaders,” said Merrill Brown, who succeeded Rich as editorial director of G/O Media. “I have no doubt that he will do brilliant work in further building Deadspin’s voice and reporting as well as expanding its audience.”
“Deadspin is a stellar brand with untapped potential that I truly believe in,” Rich said in a statement. “My first time around as editor in chief was a blast and I’m looking forward to getting started again.”