The Deadspin home page on Oct. 30, 2019.

Many of Deadspin’s staffers have now left the company in protest of actions by parent company G/O Media. This week started with G/O Media (part of venture capital firm Great Hill Partners, which bought Deadspin, the former Gawker sites, and other sites including The Onion and The AV Club from Univision back in April) send out a memo Monday reiterating that they wanted the site to only cover sports, a giant contrast to its previous existence. G/O Media also removed a post from Deadspin and Kotaku that featured staffers from across the G/O properties complaining about autoplaying ads on those sites.

Deadspin then featured many of their posts that were not about sports, and long-tenured Deadspin deputy editor Barry Petchesky was fired Tuesday, with G/O Media editorial director Paul Maidment again insisting that the site should “be focused on sports coverage.” Senior editor Diana Moskovitz also announced she was leaving Tuesday. And over Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the rest of the staff announced that they were leaving.


As of Wednesday, the site’s masthead had Petchesky at the top (after editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell resigned in August, citing interference from G/O Media on several fronts including the “stick to sports” one), with Kalaf as managing editor, Ley as features editor, Moskovitz as senior editor, and McQuade as staff editor. Wagner, Theisen, Redford, Thompson, McKinney, Burneko, Paez-Pumar, and Nathan were all prominent staff writers, and Anantharaman and Fernandez were weekend contributors, while Roth was an editor at large and Magary was a columnist. Also, while Dave McKenna isn’t on Twitter, Moskovitz posted Friday (in a piece that management later appears to have moved back to an Oct. 1 publication date) that he was leaving as well:

“This the final Deadspin transaction before relegation. As the last editor left with access to our work systems, I’m promoting Dave McKenna to editor-in-chief of Deadspin. This should come as no surprise given his career stats: multiple dirty politicians brought down, evil sports owners exposed, and more wild stories than you’d think were possible. He was writing Deadspin blogs before Deadspin existed.

McKenna has graciously agreed to accept his new position until the end of the day (this is his last day). Please note that Dave McKenna was the last EIC of Deadspin.”

The GMG Union (representing writers at the G/O sites, with their name based on its former name of Gizmodo Media Group) also put out this statement:

Meanwhile, management has turned off comments on Deadspin posts:

G/O Media also threw out this statement, via Maxwell Tani of The Daily Beast:

We’ll see what this leads to for Deadspin, and for the employees who exited. Many mentioned on Twitter that they’d fund a site with these writers via Patreon, but other companies may also look to pick up these writers. Meanwhile, Deadspin itself now has a lot fewer prominent writers than it did when this week began.

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.