Writers Laura Wagner, Kelsey McKinney, Tom Ley, Lauren Theisen, Patrick Redford, Albert Burneko and Chris Thompson all tweeted today that they’ve resigned from Deadspin, the sports-focused website owned by G/O Media.
A fast refresher: G/O Media was previously referred to as Gizmodo Media Group, and earlier than that as Gawker Media. It took on its current name and current leadership earlier this yr when Univision offered the unit to personal fairness agency Nice Hill Companions, who appointed former Forbes.com CEO Jim Spanfeller as its new chief government.
Since then, the connection between G/O Media management and the editorial workers has been rocky, as you’ll have discovered by studying Deadspin itself, notably an in-depth story by Wagner in August about how workers have been sad with “an absence of communication relating to firm targets, seeming disregard for selling range throughout the prime ranks of the corporate, and by repeated and egregious interference with editorial procedures.”
Just a few weeks later, Deadspin’s editor in chief Megan Greenwell resigned, saying that G/O Media’s new editorial director Paul Maidment was directing the workers to stay to sports activities protection — a choice that she argued wasn’t dictated by site visitors, since “posts on The Concourse, Deadspin’s vertical devoted to politics and tradition and different subjects that aren’t sports activities, outperform posts on the principle website by barely greater than two to 1.”
Apparently Maidment repeated that edict in a memo earlier this week, which was leaked to The Daily Beast, and during which he stated, “Deadspin will write solely about sports activities and that which is related to sports activities indirectly.”
On the similar time, Deadspin additionally posted a narrative criticizing auto-playing advertisements on the location, declaring, “We, the writers, editors, and video producers of Deadspin, are as upset with the present state of our website’s consumer expertise as you’re.” The submit is not dwell, however the criticism reportedly prompted advertiser Farmers Insurance to pull the campaign.
This all seems to have prompted a mass exodus from Deadspin right now. The Gizmodo Media Group union additionally issued this assertion:
As we speak, quite a few our colleagues at Deadspin resigned from their positions. From the outset, CEO Jim Spanfeller has labored to undermine a profitable website by curbing its most well-read protection as a result of it makes him personally uncomfortable. This isn’t what journalism seems like and it isn’t what editorial independence seems like.
“Stick with sports activities” is and all the time has been a thinly veiled euphemism for “don’t converse fact to energy.” Along with being dangerous enterprise, Spanfeller’s actions are morally reprehensible. The GMG Union stands with our present and former Deadspin colleagues and condemns Jim Spanfeller within the strongest doable phrases.
We’ve reached out to G/O Media for remark and can replace if we hear again.