Deadspin is Burning

nattysez

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No new posts for a week now, not even Kinja/Amazon referrals. I guess the site must still get a ton of traffic, but how long can they leave it in this state?
I can't imagine it would be all that hard to find a couple of guys who'd agree to anonymously upload a couple of stories a day for not much money, which makes letting the site lie dormant hard to understand.
 

dirtynine

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I’m getting along ok without Deadspin’s take on regular sports stuff. But its stuff like this stupid Papa John interview that really makes me feel the loss. They should have done a bit on this. There should have been comments.
 

NortheasternPJ

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Nov 16, 2004
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I’m getting along ok without Deadspin’s take on regular sports stuff. But its stuff like this stupid Papa John interview that really makes me feel the loss. They should have done a bit on this. There should have been comments.
Toucher and Rich did a solid 20 min on this today as well. It should be on their site in podcast form.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
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Apr 12, 2001
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That's no surprise. Toucher and Rich did a lot of stuff that was on Deadspin the day before*.

* I'm not saying that they copied Deadspin, but that similar stories passed both of their desks.
 

nayrbrey

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Leitch in his weekly newsletter states he was part of a group that tried to buy Deadspin back this fall.
“ I guess I can say this now, but I was initially part of a group of outside investors who tried to put together a bid to buy Deadspin back from Great Hill Partners after that whole shitshow. We had dedicated people who were willing to put down real money to make it happen. And then we talked to Great Hill Partners themselves. We were told, immediately, in zero uncertain terms, that Great Hill Partners was not interested in selling Deadspin, not at any price. Word-for-word: “Deadspin is not for sale. Ever.” Private equity ghouls would rather burn down the whole world than admit that it’s possible they were wrong about anything.”

Yeah PE bros are garbage.

Edit- linky: https://williamfleitch.substack.com/p/volume-2-issue-90-elt?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&utm_source=copy
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
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Leitch in his weekly newsletter states he was part of a group that tried to buy Deadspin back this fall.
“ I guess I can say this now, but I was initially part of a group of outside investors who tried to put together a bid to buy Deadspin back from Great Hill Partners after that whole shitshow. We had dedicated people who were willing to put down real money to make it happen. And then we talked to Great Hill Partners themselves. We were told, immediately, in zero uncertain terms, that Great Hill Partners was not interested in selling Deadspin, not at any price. Word-for-word: “Deadspin is not for sale. Ever.” Private equity ghouls would rather burn down the whole world than admit that it’s possible they were wrong about anything.”

Yeah PE bros are garbage.

Edit- linky: https://williamfleitch.substack.com/p/volume-2-issue-90-elt?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=email&utm_source=copy
Deadspin is mostly a brand name, right? Its assets are (or were) its writers, editors, sales staff and advertisers.

So why couldn’t Leitch (or anyone else) simply hire the exiting staff in its entirety and start Deadspin2 or Livespin or Undeadspin?

You cant hire advertisers, but the advertisers would follow the writers and clicks.
 

nayrbrey

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Deadspin is mostly a brand name, right? Its assets are (or were) its writers, editors, sales staff and advertisers.

So why couldn’t Leitch (or anyone else) simply hire the exiting staff in its entirety and start Deadspin2 or Livespin or Undeadspin?

You cant hire advertisers, but the advertisers would follow the writers and clicks.
He mentions towards the end the Deadspin 2.0 rumors. Several of the key writers and Laura Wagner have taken new jobs so he doesn’t think that will come to be.
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
9,352
Michigan
He mentions towards the end the Deadspin 2.0 rumors. Several of the key writers and Laura Wagner have taken new jobs so he doesn’t think that will come to be.
That’s what I thought at the time. The best writers split quickly and got new jobs, making a “let’s keep the gang together” under a new name and ownership play impossible.

I thought the same thing when Theil and Hulk Hogan took down Gawker. Media companies used to be capital heavy — printing presses, radio and TV transmitters — so most of the value was in physical assets (and in the case of broadcast, licenses,) not employees. Now a media company can be can be a brand name, an office and a web address.
 

InstaFace

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you can't ignore the value of (A) the users' info and existing accounts, (B) the kinja network in enabling cross-discovery / time-on-site, and (C) users' habits of going to a site, which take a while to establish. It's surmountable, but the incumbent site property does have real, valuable assets that don't walk out the door at the end of the day (unlike, say, a consulting firm).

Speaking of Great Hill, yesterday I got this in a PE industry newsletter:

Great Hill VP moves roles

Moves:A Great Hill Partners vice president who worked on the firm's G/O Media investment left the firm and has landed at BV Investment Partners. Eric Ahlgren, who joined BV this month as a principal, served on G/O Media's board.

Ahlgren worked at Great Hill since 2016, before which he spent two year at Bessemer Venture Partners, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Great Hill's G/O Media investment has been roiled by staff turnover at some of the company's titles, including Deadspin, which has produced scant editorial content over the past few weeks, according to a Dec. 10 report from New York Post.The last articles on Deadspin's front page date from Nov. 4, when its remaining editorial staff left the company. Deadspin had a mass exodus of editorial folks after interim editor-in-chief Barry Petchesky was fired in late October for not sticking strictly to sports coverage.

Staffers had also complained about auto-play video ads popping up on sites, leading to reader complaints, New York Times reported at the time.

G/O Media, led by CEO Jim Spanfeller, who Great Hill installed after it bought the company in April, has no plans to sell the site, NY Post said.

Great Hill made the G/O Media investment through its sixth fund, which raised $1.5 billion in 2017.
"you made a shitty, value-destroying move, that cost our LPs a lot of money! Here, take another industry role with some more carry."
 

dhappy42

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Oct 27, 2013
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Michigan
you can't ignore the value of (A) the users' info and existing accounts, (B) the kinja network in enabling cross-discovery / time-on-site, and (C) users' habits of going to a site, which take a while to establish. ..."
Absolutely, but rebuilding user info databases and website metric analytical staff is a lot easier than building a printing plant, distribution system, or TV studio, let alone a network. I did not mean to say that Deadspin has zero intrinsic value apart from its employees, but that a website like Deadspin is much more easily replicable than, say, the Globe.
 

Laser Show

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I am absolutely devastated that I won't get this article every Christmas now

I have good news
 

ifmanis5

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Sep 29, 2007
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They are moving to Chicago and looking to restart but not Unionized.
The owners of Deadspin, the sports and culture website that has lain dormant for two months after a remarkable exodus of all editorial staffers, will move its operations to Chicago in a bid to restart the site.

The move will align Deadspin with the Chicago-based Onion, one of the digital properties acquired from Univision by private equity-backed G/O Media last year. The decision, announced Friday, came after G/O broke off talks with GMG Union, the WGA East local representing workers at the sites formerly owned by Gizmodo Media Group.
In other words...
View: https://twitter.com/kgroetz/status/1215690455586869249
 
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HowBoutDemSox

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Aug 12, 2009
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Two writers leaving Kotaku, their video game website, posted a dialogue between the two of them, that ended like this:
Josh: I feel robbed of the opportunity to love this place as much as you do.

Gita: Can we just say specifically that Jim Spanfeller has made it impossible for us to work here?

Josh: Yeah, absolutely.

Gita: His outward and obvious hostility towards the writers here, his treatment of the Deadspin writers, his firing of Barry, the way that he talks about Deadspin and the way that he won’t take responsibility for its closure even though it comes from his really awful management decisions, have just made my faith in the ability of him being able to keep this company solvent, just completely obliterated. And it’s all him. It’s all his choices.

Josh: There’s no way I feel supported as a writer. I know Stephen Totilo, bless up, will go to the ends of the earth for us.

Gita: Hell yeah. He would fight an army. He cares so much about his writers.

Josh: It’s a shame that we don’t have owners that care for a fraction as much. You know, they don’t, they don’t shout out our work. They don’t care for our work.

Gita: I’m not even sure that Jim Spanfeller is aware that he has a video game website.

Josh: I mean, he might know now.

Gita: [laughs.] Yeah. Sup dude. Suck it.
 

nattysez

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View: https://twitter.com/KVanValkenburg/status/1217293078773583872


I am so, so skeptical that he actually believes any of this recovery stuff. It seems much more likely he's got no other choice because he made a shambles of his life, so he's using "recovery" as a way of excusing everything he did wrong in the past.

And WTF does this even mean?

The only reason we met up again is because somehow, through all the chaos of the past decade, Jenn Sterger and I could understand each other. We’d both lost control of our stories along the way and wanted our lives back. And it’s not just career stuff for me–mostly, it’s the ability to be self-deprecating about who I used to be, to remember who I used to be before that little chunk of my personality was taken from me. There’s a strange forcefield of humiliation, hurt and anger that still exists around me and there are only a handful of people who can connect through it because they know. But sitting across from her I’m no longer this awful dirtbag blogger, fossilized forever as the man who killed Gawker and who deserved it. And she’s not the Brett Favre girl.
"Taken" from you? Guess not all of that recovery stuff has quite taken hold yet...
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I used to visit Deadspin every day and was sad when it imploded.

But you know what? I don't miss it any more. I enjoyed a lot of the content, but the snark, the ever-relentless snark, the implication that everything sucked and nothing could be enjooyed because everything was run by awful people, it really got to me after a while. Going without that snark has made my life marginally better.

It's too bad.
 

John Marzano Olympic Hero

has fancy plans, and pants to match
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Apr 12, 2001
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But sitting across from her I’m no longer this awful dirtbag blogger, fossilized forever as the man who killed Gawker and who deserved it. And she’s not the Brett Favre girl.
Dauliero has half of this correct. He's such a piece of shit and is Portnoy v1.0, except he's dumber, more smug, less charismatic and an overall shittier person. I really like Will Leitch as a writer, but his blind spot for his friend is the one thing that bugs me about him. If you logically follow the path, Dauliero is the one who killed Deadspin. If he didn't completely fuck Gawker over, they would never have gone to bankruptcy, sold to Univision, who then sold to the VCs that stripped the site for parts. But everyone seems to be mad at the latter, rather than Dauliero.

And all for what? So he could show Hulk Hogan railing Bubba the Love Sponge's wife? That's his legacy: pervert and idiot.

I used to visit Deadspin every day and was sad when it imploded.

But you know what? I don't miss it any more. I enjoyed a lot of the content, but the snark, the ever-relentless snark, the implication that everything sucked and nothing could be enjooyed because everything was run by awful people, it really got to me after a while. Going without that snark has made my life marginally better.
That being said, I do miss Deadspin still. I liked going there and reading about the big news of the day. And you're right, there was a lot of snark and a lot of "everything sucked", but there was a lot of good there too. Magary is a decent writer who doesn't seem to have the same spark that he had at Deadspin. David Roth was really good too. And I miss the comments, I think that their's and the old AV Club commenters were some of the best in the business.
 

Bozo Texino

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View: https://twitter.com/KVanValkenburg/status/1217293078773583872


I am so, so skeptical that he actually believes any of this recovery stuff. It seems much more likely he's got no other choice because he made a shambles of his life, so he's using "recovery" as a way of excusing everything he did wrong in the past.

And WTF does this even mean?



"Taken" from you? Guess not all of that recovery stuff has quite taken hold yet...
Yeah. I feel like Daulerio was an asshole before he was an addict. I feel like he'll be an asshole in recovery, too. Maybe that's unfair of me. I dunno.
 

nattysez

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I used to visit Deadspin every day and was sad when it imploded.

But you know what? I don't miss it any more. I enjoyed a lot of the content, but the snark, the ever-relentless snark, the implication that everything sucked and nothing could be enjooyed because everything was run by awful people, it really got to me after a while. Going without that snark has made my life marginally better.

It's too bad.
I had this same realization about Twitter and culled a lot of folks from my feed. Having Roth, Hamilton Nolan, Magary and John Cook constantly telling me everything is awful and that I suck for liking some of the things I like turns out to be lousy for my mental health. If that means I've willingly put myself in a bubble, so be it.
 

InstaFace

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That's one of the great consolations of studying history - the realization that while things are indeed awful, (1) they used to be WAY MORE AWFUL, and (2) you can understand how you got here and so deal with how they are a little more precisely, or avoid some of the same mistakes.

Anyway, reading that article I think Daulerio's as committed as anyone to AA, gets it and is trying to live it. I don't think we should expect perfection from him (or anyone), though neither is it necessary for us to read whatever crap he churns out today. I'm mostly just glad Sterger appears to have reached a point of closure and have her career moving upwards now... even if Daulerio does not appear to get that "it's not about himself, it's about her". He says as much in a preceding paragraph, and then goes on to talk about his own inner torment and career or whatever. You're a journalist, dude - in theory, anyway. Tell her story. Use whatever platform you've got to make her more interesting.
 

Manramsclan

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Jul 14, 2005
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At least ten of those clicks is me typing “deadspin” into my browser, then realizing I don’t read Deadspin anymore, and clicking away to SoSH or The Ringer or something.

1000 times this. I was trying to figure out a way to block the site so I don't contributing to their ad buys by habitually typing in the URL
 

Nator

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This is a great summary focusing on the last 3 months of big stories the website formerly named Deadpsin missed.

 

jimv

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Feb 5, 2011
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I've missed Deadspin more than I realized - my productivity is taking a hit today with this unnamed temp blog
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

All Hail King Boron
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They're still fucking that Tom Brady chicken though. It's awfully stale.

Also, Marchman is on Twitter saying the Sox are trying to trade Mookie due to pressure from Boston's racist fans. Some things never change.
 

nattysez

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They're still fucking that Tom Brady chicken though. It's awfully stale.
Also, Marchman is on Twitter saying the Sox are trying to trade Mookie due to pressure from Boston's racist fans. Some things never change.
That's exactly the kind of crap I don't need in my life. It's just look-at-me nonsense meant to get a reaction. RIP Deadspin - stay dead.
 

phrenile

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I've missed shit like this, though (even if Dave McKenna had already left years ago):
 

Bozo Texino

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Also, Marchman is on Twitter saying the Sox are trying to trade Mookie due to pressure from Boston's racist fans. Some things never change.
Look. Boston has an *ahem* checkered history when it comes to race. I know this. You know this.

But does he have ANY evidence whatsoever to back up his claim? Come the fuck on.
 

The Social Chair

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Feb 17, 2010
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That blog reminds me of former WWF wrestlers performing in a suburban high school. I guess it's cool for the 40 people who couldn't live without Ley's Bill Simmons takes.