- Media site Deadspin is caught in a stir of controversy after ownership changes and new site mandates
- Battles between staff and owners have led to a mass exodus of writers
- Will the site fold or can Deadspin recover from this massive change?
It used to seem like digital media was an indestructible platform. As we watched countless print magazines and newspapers fold, the Internet was steady and strong in its journalistic content. But, as the adage goes, times they are a-changing.
Online media is a wild world these days. It seems no publication is safe from the proverbial axe if a site pits editor versus writer.
Harkening back to the folding of Gawker, the latest media source to go through the wringer is Deadspin, a onetime Gawker spinoff. We’ll get to the ugly details below, but first the related prop bet, which is focused on Deadspin shuttering its e-doors.
Odds Deadspin Shuts Down or Is Sold Off By the End of 2019
*Odds taken 11/01/19
Since its 2005 launch, Deadspin has been a go-to news source for sports-related media. But the recent tension and implosion of the site has been nothing short of jaw-dropping.
With a constant battle between the company’s owners and those who worked hard to provide content for the publication, something was going to give eventually. It’s just that nobody could have imagined the ship would go down in this form.
The Deadspin situation is deep in controversy and reeks of cringe. The editorial staff has just conducted a mass exodus, but you can’t really blame them. Their self-dismissals follow improper conduct and unethical maneuvers on the company’s part, namely CEO Jim Spanfeller and parent company G/O Media.
Earlier this week, the site’s Editor-in-Chief, Barry Petchesky, was suddenly fired following his protest of strange requests from the site’s operators. And now, thanks to all this commotion, Deadspin is left high and dry. Really, nobody wins here.
— Deadspin (@Deadspin) November 1, 2019
Recovery Mission: Impossible?
It’s like a burning dumpster fire you just can’t look away from. It’s also impressive to see a legion of industry professionals stand up for themselves and for what they believe is right. But the big question is what will happen now that the editorial staff and editor-in-chief have vanished.
Based on the events that Deadspin has gone through, will the site survive these shocking changes? Despite how controversial and hard to recover it will be, it’s likely Deadspin will live on in some incarnation.
Every strike has contract workers who jump in for the business when the core staff is picketing. The Deadspin scenario is not very different. Surely those in charge will source for new content creators, whether permanent or temporary and license them to create the content they want in a timely manner.
It would be a relatively easy recovery for Deadspin to make with a few adjustments. It would be a bigger loss to let this situation fold the publication entirely. Deadspin’s owners are sticking to their guns in wake of this all, too.
Spanfeller insists the site is sourcing new writers and that Deadspin will live on.
Yikes G/O Media just released a statement criticizing the traffic on non-sports Deadspin stories: "While amusing, our readers haven’t actually come to Deadspin for stories like 'Classic Rock, Ranked,' or 'You’re Goddamn Right It’s Layering Season,' or 'It’s OK to Logoff.' " pic.twitter.com/docWlyca3a
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) October 31, 2019
The sad reality of media is that the publication names are much stronger than those working to support them. Writers are replaceable and those who rock the boat can be forced out for those who will do the bidding of the owners without batting an eyelash.
Hopefully, things get better for Deadspin and for all those affected by these publication changes. It’s unlikely fences will be mended, but it’s probably Deadspin 2.0 will take shape in wake of the current publication’s relative demise.
Pick: No (-300)
Let's have fun and keep it civil.