The popular sports website Deadspin is being buried alive. In April, Deadspin and the other sites once owned by Gawker Media were purchased by a media firm run by the individuals who turned Forbes magazine’s website into a “contributors’ network” platform for unvetted public relations spin and listicles built to exploit Google searches. The properties were organized in a new company called G/O Media. In August, Deadspin editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell resigned over G/O’s insistence that her site stop covering issues that weren’t directly sports-related; Tuesday, deputy editor Barry Petchesky was fired for similar reasons.
Deadspin’s popularity and brand distinctiveness is in large part due to its history of incorporating lifestyle humor, political commentary, and cultural context into sports coverage—of writing about games and highlights, but also about other subjects of interest to readers who might be drawn to funny, original writing about games and highlights. The new owners have nonetheless said, publicly, that they want to “focus on sports coverage.”