Rich said the move was unrelated to criticism over Deadspin's coverage of Rachel Nichols' phone call.
Rich has been named to head the new "Deadspin," but there's little reason to believe it will share more than a name and a URL with the old site.
The GMG Union is now calling for Spanfeller's ouster.
G/O Media Jim Spanfeller sent a letter to the union Friday informing them of a plan to move "Deadspin" to Chicago and relaunch it, and instructing union members not to criticize new hires for the relaunched site.
Spanfeller recently held the company's first all-hands meeting since the mass resignations at Deadspin, but the union said the meeting was "full of empty platitudes."
Petchesky had been with Deadspin for 10 years and wrote almost 20,000 posts there.