Deadspin Revolts Against 'Stick to Sports' Edict, Editor Barry Petchesky Says He Was Fired
It was a solid bet when The Daily Beast reported that G/O Media management issued an edict to Deadspin to stick to sports, and when management unilaterally removed posts directing readers to complain to them about auto-play videos in apparent violation of their collective bargaining agreement with the union, that there was going to be an active revolt.
This happened, as Deadspin spent Tuesday morning featuring older stories on the top of its homepage that had nothing to do with sports, and only producing new content about things like wedding dress codes and good dogs that wouldn't have seemed out of place on the site in recent years but were nonetheless a thumb in the eye of the edict.
Barry Petchesky, who has been at Deadspin for over a decade and took over as interim editor-in-chief when Megan Greenwell left the position for a job at Wired in August, announced that he was fired today:
Deadspin was part of the former Gawker Media, which was purchased by Univision in bankruptcy auction in 2016. Deadspin, Gizmodo, Kotaku, and Jezebel were rebranded as the Gizmodo Media Group, which added sites like The Onion and eventually was sold to the private equity firm Great Hill Partners earlier this year and rebranded as G/O Media. G/O Media is led by former Forbes boss Jim Spanfeller, and Deadspin wrote a story detailing qualms with his team's management practices in August.
A showdown has been inevitable, and this story is nowhere near over, as the remaining writers and editors have a vision for the site that does not correspond at all with management's.
Update: The GMG union, which represents Deadspin, has responded to Petchesky's firing: