Wishing I could go back to the Lake Placid JGP
Dramatically shifting the website’s priorities didn’t make sense from a business perspective. Was something else going on?
Recap of the sequence of events (Nov. 1):Private-equity firms and their hedge-fund brethren have become what Penelope Muse Abernathy, the Knight Chair in Journalism and Digital Media Economics at UNC’s Hussman School of Journalism and Media, calls “the new media barons” of the journalism industry. Over the past few years private equity has gutted the Denver Post, Sports Illustrated, and LA Weekly, in addition to dozens of local newspapers across the country. Many of these publications have become zombie versions of themselves — in no small part because new private-equity ownership tends to have different goals than previous owners. “Their sole responsibility is to their shareholders,” said Abernathy. “As where most journalism organizations feel a dual responsibility to the civic mission as well as their responsibility to make a return to their shareholders.”
Staffers at the sports and culture website began to leave en masse earlier this week following a directive from executives to "stick to sports." The future of the site is up in the air.
Writers and editors began to quit the site en masse on Wednesday [Oct. 30] and the exodus continued through Friday. The Washington Post reports "around 20 writers and editors" handed in their resignations this week.
The turmoil began Monday, when executives with G/O Media, the parent company of Deadspin and other websites including Gizmodo, The Onion and The Root, sent a directive to the staffers of the sports website to write only on sports and sports-adjacent topics.
That left many writers peeved, because Deadspin had made its mark with its irreverent, and at times piercing commentary on culture, politics and media alongside coverage of the world of athletics.