It was announced on Tuesday that the editor of Deadspin, Gawker’s sports-oriented website, was fired for “not sticking to sports” by his equity firm corporate overlords. Deadspin has been a daily stop of mine for years now, partially because of the sports reporting, but more because of the ancillary content: it’s often the stuff that’s on the periphery of sports that I like to read. I’ve always enjoyed the editorial voice found there, and the writers they’ve collected over the years were original and interesting. The Outline puts it well:
No other publication has turned such a consistently critical, interrogative, moral, and necessarily cynical eye toward an industry rotted through with bullshit, while also maintaining the levity and humor sometimes required to think seriously about what many people see as children’s games, and more importantly, provide an enjoyable reading experience.
The editor was fired because they told him to run more ads and mess with the formula that made the site profitable. It should be said that the new owners have no prior experience running a media outlet. One of them made his money building an internet advertising company, which is why Deadspin is now suddenly covered in autoplay videos. Yesterday, pretty much the entire staff up and quit.
The media landscape is getting more and more grim as the days go on. Excellent sites are shutting down, being sued out of existence, or just quietly dying on the vine. Go home and hug your family, and make sure your subscription to the New York Times is paid in full.
Update: Drew Magary quit this morning. Removing the site from my reading list.