Sports Site Deadspin Gutted After Sale to Mysterious Firm

Deadspin, the popular sports news and commentary website, has been sold again and its entire staff laid off, according to a memo from G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller. The site was acquired by a newly formed European digital media company called Lineup Publishing.

In the memo to employees, Spanfeller stated that Deadspin’s new owners decided “to not carry over any of the site’s existing staff and instead build a new team more in line with their editorial vision.” The 11 staff members were notified of their termination on Monday.

While Lineup Publishing plans to maintain Deadspin’s “unique voice,” Spanfeller said they intend to take a “different content approach” to the site’s overall sports coverage. He noted G/O Media was not actively looking to sell Deadspin, citing the buyer’s plans, competition in sports journalism, and a valuation above their purchase price as factors.

This is the second website from G/O’s portfolio to see mass layoffs after an attempted sale in recent months. Last fall, the female-oriented site Jezebel was shut down before being acquired by Paste Magazine. G/O’s remaining brands include Gizmodo, Quartz, The Onion, The AV Club, The Root, Jalopnik, and Kotaku.

The Onion Inc. Union, which represented some Deadspin workers, criticized the layoffs as “all too common” at the company and industry. 

Details on Lineup Publishing are scant, with just a vague slogan and contact form on its website, although it appears to be based in Malta. 

G/O Media, formed in 2019 from the acquisition of former Gawker sites and The Onion, has seen significant turmoil, including a previous mass resignation at Deadspin in protest of mandated sports-only coverage. 

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