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Type of site
IndustrySports journalism
LaunchedSeptember 9, 2005; 18 years ago (2005-09-09)
Current statusActive

Deadspin is a sports blog founded by Will Leitch in 2005 and based in Chicago. Previously owned by Gawker Media, Univision Communications and G/O Media, it was sold to Lineup Publishing in March 2024.

Deadspin posted daily previews, recaps, and commentaries of major sports stories, as well as sports-related anecdotes, rumors, and videos. In addition to covering sports, the site wrote about the media, pop culture, and politics, and published several non-sports sub-sections, including The Concourse[1] and the humor blog Adequate Man.[2] Contrasting with traditional sports updates of other outlets,[3] Deadspin was known for its irreverent, conversational tone,[4] often injecting crude humor into its writing and taking a critical lens to the topics it covered.[3] Over time, the site expanded into more investigative journalism and broke several stories, including the revelation of the Manti Te'o girlfriend hoax.[3] Alumni writers of Deadspin have gone on to work for The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Sports Illustrated.[3]

During October and November 2019, the website's entire writing and editorial staff resigned due to conflicts with G/O Media management over a directive to "stick to sports" content only.[3][4] Deadspin began publishing content again in March 2020. The site has suffered after the mass resignations, reportedly attracting only 10.22% of its previous readership.[5] In March 2024, G/O Media sold Deadspin to Lineup Publishing; as a result of the sale, the site's entire staff was laid off.[6]



Deadspin was founded in December 2005 by editor-in-chief Will Leitch, an author and at that time a founding editor of the New York City-based culture website, "The Black Table", in his New York City apartment, where he wrote 40 blog posts a day.[7][3] The blog joined the Gawker Media network of websites.[3] Leitch announced on June 5, 2008, that he would be leaving to take a position at New York magazine.[8] He was replaced by A. J. Daulerio, former senior writer for the site.[9] Author and journalist Drew Magary, formerly a frequent contributor to the site's comments section, joined as an editor and chief columnist in 2008.

Time magazine named the site one of the 50 coolest websites of 2006.[10]

Deadspin was one of six websites that were purchased by Univision Communications in their acquisition of Gawker Media in August 2016.[11] The Gizmodo Media Group was subsequently formed to operate the properties.[12]

The website's masthead[13] consisted of editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell, managing editor Tom Ley, and senior editor Diana Moskovitz, along with a staff of full-time writers and regular contributors.[14]

On March 11, 2024, G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller told staff the site had been sold to the European startup Lineup Publishing. Spanfeller said the new owner would not be retaining any of the current staff, who were laid off as a result of the sale. He said G/O was not actively looking to sell Deadspin, but that Lineup Publishing approached the company with an attractive offer.[6]

Conflicts with G/O Media management


In April 2019, the Gizmodo Media Group was purchased by private equity firm Great Hill Partners and was renamed G/O Media, with Jim Spanfeller appointed as CEO.[15] Greenwell resigned from Deadspin effective August 23, 2019. She said that dysfunction had been caused by corporate management. She also alleged that corporate management tried to intimidate Deadspin writers from reporting on the dysfunction, and said that corporate management had undermined and been condescending to the site's senior staff.[16]

In late October 2019, the editorial staff across several G/O Media sites, including Deadspin, posted articles acknowledging complaints from readers about advertisements that were autoplaying with audio. The Deadspin post said that the editorial staff "are as upset with the current state of our site's user experience as [readers] are" but that they could not control the "ad experience". The posts were subsequently removed by G/O Media management.[17] The Gizmodo Media Group (GMG) union, which represents editors and writers across the G/O Media sites and is supported by Writers Guild of America, East,[18] responded to the post removals with a statement that said, "We condemn this action in the strongest possible terms."[17] According to The Wall Street Journal, G/O Media enabled the autoplaying ads in an attempt to fulfill the terms of an advertising deal it agreed to with Farmers Insurance Group. The companies had signed a deal worth $1 million that was planned to run from September 2019 – 2020 and required G/O Media to deliver 43.5 million impressions. However, after the first few weeks of the campaign, the G/O media and operations teams did not think they could meet that goal and subsequently enabled the ads.[19] Farmers ultimately backed out of the deal on October 30.[17]

That same week, G/O Media editorial director Paul Maidment sent a memo to Deadspin employees ordering them to discontinue any content not related to sports. He said that in order to "create as much great sports journalism" as possible, "Deadspin will write only about sports and that which is relevant to sports in some way."[20] The GMG union called the changes in the site's content "undermin[ing] the nearly two decades of work writers have put into building a profitable brand with an enormous, dedicated readership". On October 29, following the memo, staffers filled the site's front page with non-sports stories that had been among the site's most popular in the past; by that afternoon, interim editor-in-chief Barry Petchesky had been fired for "not sticking to sports."[18]

As a result of Petchesky's firing, at least 10 employees participated in a mass resignation on October 30. Among those who left were Ley,[21] writers Albert Burneko, Kelsey McKinney, Patrick Redford, Lauren Theisen, Chris Thompson, and Laura Wagner. Moskovitz also announced her departure, though she had given her two weeks' notice the week prior. Comments on the site were subsequently disabled as well.[22] The GMG union posted a statement saying: "Today, a number of our colleagues at Deadspin resigned from their positions. From the outset, CEO Jim Spanfeller has worked to undermine a successful site by curtailing its most well-read coverage because it makes him personally uncomfortable. This is not what journalism looks like, and this is not what editorial independence looks like. 'Stick to sports' is and always been a thinly veiled euphemism for 'don't speak truth to power.' In addition to being bad business, Spanfeller's actions are morally reprehensible." On October 31, Magary and Dan McQuade announced their departures.[23] By November 1, the entire staff of nearly 20 writers and editors had announced their resignations or already departed.[3] U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders expressed his support for the editorial staff, tweeting, "I stand with the former @Deadspin workers who decided not to bow to the greed of private equity vultures like @JimSpanfeller. This is the kind of greed that is destroying journalism across the country, and together we are going to take them on".[24]

Maidment resigned from G/O Media on November 5, 2019, stating that it was the "right moment" to "pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity".[25]

On January 10, 2020, G/O Media announced its decision to move Deadspin operations from New York City to Chicago, where it would operate as part of The Onion.[26][27]

On January 31, 2020, Ley and several other former writers established Unnamed Temporary Sports Blog, an interim site sponsored by Dashlane that operated exclusively over Super Bowl LIV weekend.[28] The site reopened for the week of April 20, sponsored by a cannabis oil company.[29] In July 2020, they subsequently announced a new subscription-based sports and culture website, Defector.[30]

The first new content posted to the Deadspin site following the resignations appeared on March 13, 2020, as new editor-in-chief Jim Rich announced that the website was building a new team. New articles began publishing earlier than planned due to the COVID-19 pandemic.[31]



Deadspin broke the story of NFL quarterback Brett Favre's alleged sexual misconduct toward journalist Jenn Sterger.[32][33]

Deadspin also broke the story of Sarah Phillips, a reporter hired by ESPN who lied about her identity and credentials to staffers in order to gain employment.[34]

In 2013, Deadspin broke the news that the reported September 2012 death of the girlfriend of Notre Dame All-American linebacker Manti Te'o, which Te'o had said inspired him during the 2012 season, was apparently a hoax. Deadspin found no evidence that the girlfriend had ever existed, much less died.[35][36] A 2022 documentary, Untold: The Girlfriend Who Didn't Exist, features former staffers Timothy Burke and Jack Dickey speaking about the methods Deadspin used in exposing the hoax.[37]

Deadspin received attention for "buying" a vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame election in 2013. The site announced in late November 2013 that it had acquired a vote from a BBWAA writer which was "purchased" not through a cash payment to the writer, but instead to a charity of the writer's choice.[38] On January 8, after the Hall of Fame voting was announced, Deadspin revealed that its voter was Miami Herald sportswriter Dan Le Batard. Le Batard was heavily criticized by fellow sportswriters for "selling" his vote.[39] The BBWAA permanently revoked his Hall of Fame voting privileges and suspended his membership for one year.[40]

In 2014, Deadspin provided coverage of the Gamergate controversy, "expos[ing] a shocking view of sexism and harassment in the gaming industry to the wider public", according to Salon.[41]

On October 15, 2014, Deadspin published an article which alleged that Cory Gardner, the Republican who ran for the U.S. Senate in Colorado, had faked his high school football career. Later that day, Gardner tweeted photographic evidence of himself in his football uniform as a teenager, and the main source of the story said the report mischaracterized his comments.[42] In response, Deadspin published an article entitled: "How Deadspin Fucked Up The Cory Gardner Story", stating: "we're sorry and embarrassed", it was "shitty" of them to have wronged Gardner, and "the only thing for us to do now is to eat shit."[43]

After Deadspin posted an article asking readers to post proof of Ted Cruz playing basketball,[44] Cruz responded by jokingly tweeting a picture of Duke University star Grayson Allen, which then prompted Deadspin to reply with "Go eat shit."[45][46][47]

In July 2017, Deadspin sparked controversy when in response to Senator John McCain's brain cancer diagnosis, Deadspin's Twitter account tweeted that the website did not want to "hear another fucking word about John McCain unless he dies or does something useful for once."[48]

In March 2018, The Concourse posted a video showcasing versions of a controversial "journalistic responsibility" promo being produced by television stations owned by Sinclair Broadcast Group, which helped bring mainstream attention to them.[49][50]

Deadspin's former last post each evening (before the October staff resignations), called DUAN ("Deadspin Up All Night"), was infamous for its occasionally viral and usually wildly diverse commentaries.[51]

Under the new staff, the site has occasionally drawn controversy for the quality of its reporting and editing.[52] In 2021, critics claimed the site mishandled reporting related to a clash between Rachel Nichols and Maria Taylor at ESPN.[53]

Later that year, the site was criticized for calling ESPN anchor Sage Steele "the Black Candace Owens."[54] Owens, a conservative commentator, is Black, while Steele is biracial.[55]

In 2022, the site published a story criticizing San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel as "another young, white guy." McDaniel has spoken at length about growing up biracial. After the article's publication, an editor's note was appended to the piece and a tweet promoting the article was deleted, but none of the copy was changed.[56][57]

In November 2023, Deadspin published an article written by Carron J. Phillips that falsely accused a nine-year-old boy at an NFL game of wearing blackface. The Daily Beast reported that the boy was actually Native American, and that his face was painted both black and red, reflecting the colors of the Kansas City Chiefs.[58] The article was updated the following month to remove identifying information about the fan.[59] The boy's parents have threatened legal action against both Deadspin and Phillips, demanding the site publish a retraction and issue an apology, while Deadspin threatened to countersue.[60] On February 7, 2024, the boy's parents filed a lawsuit against Deadspin alleging emotional and psychological damage: ""Death threats ("I'm going to kill [H.A.] with a wood chipper") and insults (calling H.A. a "p-ssy," a "mother f-cker," and a "n-gg-r"). They have made Raul a pariah at work, forcing the family to consider moving out of state. And they have branded a nine-year-old child with false allegations that will live forever online. H.A. has already suffered significantly—his test scores and grades have dropped in school, and he has shown emotional damage from the onslaught of negative attention."[61]

After Deadspin was sold again in March 2024 and the staff fired, the site consisted entirely of procedurally generated recaps of sporting events.[62] A statement by the new owners, Lineup Publishing, implied that going forward the site would be focused on sports gambling.[63]

See also



  1. ^ "The Concourse - Culture, food, whatever". The Concourse. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  2. ^ "Adequate Man - Be good enough at everything". Adequate Man. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h Strauss, Ben (November 1, 2019). "Deadspin's entire editorial staff is gone". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Liew, Jonathan (November 1, 2019). "Deadspin, the limits of 'sticking to sport' and why we should never just shut up and consume". The Independent. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  5. ^ "Deadspin's traffic and execution will both need to vastly improve if the site wants to survive in the long term". Awful Announcing. May 28, 2020. Retrieved August 6, 2020.
  6. ^ a b Baragona, Justin (March 11, 2024). "G/O Media Sells Off Deadspin to Be Entirely Gutted". The Daily Beast. Retrieved March 11, 2024.
  7. ^ Strauss, Ben. "At Deadspin, can the cool kids of the sports internet become its moral authority?". Boston.com. The Washing Post. Retrieved March 15, 2019.
  8. ^ Leitch, Will (June 5, 2008). "A Note From Your Editor". Deadspin. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  9. ^ Leitch, Will (June 27, 2008). "Meet Your New Editor(s)". Deadspin. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  10. ^ Buechner, Maryanne Murray (August 3, 2006). "50 Coolest Websites 2006". Time. Archived from the original on August 23, 2006.
  11. ^ Calderone, Michael (August 18, 2016). "Gawker.com Ending Operations Next Week". HuffPost. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  12. ^ Villafañe, Veronica. "Univision Rebrands Gawker Media As Gizmodo Media Group; Starts Translating Content For Univision.com". Forbes. Retrieved January 12, 2017.
  13. ^ "About Deadspin". Deadspin. January 12, 2011. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  14. ^ Burch, Sean (February 6, 2018). "Deadspin Hires Megan Greenwell as Site's First Female Editor-in-Chief". TheWrap. Retrieved May 30, 2024.
  15. ^ Ha, Anthony (April 8, 2019). "Gizmodo Media Group acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners". TechCrunch. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  16. ^ Greenwell, Megan (August 23, 2019). "The Adults in the Room". Deadspin. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Tani, Maxwell (October 30, 2019). "Farmers Insurance Pulls Million-Dollar Ad Campaign With G/O Media After Editorial Staff Raises Hell". The Daily Beast.
  18. ^ a b Flynn, Kerry (October 29, 2019). "Deadspin revolts and editor fired over 'stick to sports' mandate". CNN. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  19. ^ Patel, Sahil (October 29, 2019). "Hostilities Rise Inside G/O Media Over Autoplay Video Ads and Politics". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  20. ^ Tani, Maxwell (October 28, 2019). "G/O Media Tells Deadspin Staff in Leaked Memo: Stick to Sports". The Daily Beast. Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  21. ^ Tom Ley (October 30, 2019) ".@barry no longer works at Deadspin and that means I no longer work at Deadspin. Bye!" [1]
  22. ^ Tracy, Marc (October 30, 2019). "Stick to Sports? No Way. Deadspin Journalists Quit en Masse". The New York Times. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  23. ^ Finn, Chad (October 31, 2019). "Writers resign from Deadspin en masse in wake of 'stick to sports' demand". The Boston Globe. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
  24. ^ Segers, Grace (November 1, 2019). "After Deadspin reporters resign, Bernie Sanders condemns private equity firm in tweet". CBS News. Retrieved November 2, 2019.
  25. ^ Bogage, Jacob (November 5, 2019). "Deadspin executive who sent 'stick to sports' memo resigns". The Washington Post. Retrieved November 8, 2019.
  26. ^ Channick, Robert (January 10, 2020). "Deadspin moving to Chicago after New York staff walkout shut down sports website". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  27. ^ "Popular sports site Deadspin relocating to Chicago". Crain's Chicago Business. January 10, 2020. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
  28. ^ "Ex-Deadspin Writers Reunite for Super Bowl Blog Sponsored by a Tech Company". The Daily Beast. January 30, 2020. Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  29. ^ Tani, Maxwell (April 19, 2020). "Ex-Deadspin Writers Reunite Once Again, This Time for 4/20". The Daily Beast. Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  30. ^ Tracy, Marc (July 28, 2020). "After Quitting Deadspin in Protest, They're Starting a New Site". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved July 28, 2020.
  31. ^ Kelly, Keith (March 13, 2020). "Deadspin comes back to life just as sporting events pause over coronavirus". New York Post. Retrieved March 16, 2020.
  32. ^ "Brett Favre faces more allegations". ESPN.com. ESPN.com news services. October 8, 2010. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  33. ^ Dailey, Kate (January 19, 2011). "What Frank Deford Gets Wrong About Deadspin's Brett Favre Pictures". Newsweek. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  34. ^ Koblin, John (May 1, 2012). "Is An ESPN Columnist Scamming People On The Internet?". Deadspin. Retrieved November 6, 2019.
  35. ^ "Story of Manti Te'o girlfriend a hoax". ESPN.com. January 17, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  36. ^ "Notre Dame says story about Te'o girlfriend dying apparently a hoax". The Washington Post. Associated Press. January 16, 2013. Archived from the original on January 17, 2013. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  37. ^ Boren, Cindy (August 17, 2022). "Manti Te'o, victim of a catfishing hoax, hopes he's still an inspiration". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 22, 2024.
  38. ^ Marchman, Tim (December 23, 2013). "Deadspin Buys Hall Of Fame Vote, Will Turn It Over To Deadspin Readers". Deadspin. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  39. ^ Ley, Tom (January 9, 2014). "The Angry Things Writers Are Saying About Our Hall Of Fame Ballot". Deadspin. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  40. ^ Scott, Nate (January 9, 2014). "BBWAA permanently strips Dan Le Batard of Hall-of-Fame vote". USA Today. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  41. ^ McFarland, Melanie (November 2, 2019). "How Fox's dismayed 'news' staff can learn from the Deadspin exodus". Salon. Retrieved November 3, 2019.
  42. ^ Murray, Jon; Bartels, Lynn (October 15, 2014). "Main source disputes Deadspin story of Cory Gardner's football career". Denver Post. Retrieved October 23, 2014.
  43. ^ Craggs, Tommy (October 16, 2014). "How Deadspin Fucked Up The Cory Gardner Story". Deadspin.
  44. ^ Feinberg, Ashley (January 23, 2017). "Send Us Proof Of Ted Cruz Playing Basketball". Deadspin. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  45. ^ Bieler, Des (January 24, 2017). "Deadspin tells Ted Cruz to 'eat s—' after senator's Grayson Allen joke". The Washington Post. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  46. ^ Andrews, Malika (January 25, 2017). "Ted Cruz wins Twitter feud with hysterical Grayson Allen joke tweet". Yahoo!. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  47. ^ "Ted Cruz is aware that he looks like Grayson Allen". Sports Illustrated. January 24, 2017. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  48. ^ Brett T. (July 25, 2017). "And now, in sports news, Deadspin preparing victory lap in event of Sen. John McCain's death". Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  49. ^ "Sinclair Tells Stations to Air Media-Bashing Promos — and Criticism Goes Viral". KTLA. April 2, 2018. Retrieved June 17, 2018.
  50. ^ Farhi, Paul (April 2, 2018). "As Sinclair's sound-alike anchors draw criticism for 'fake news' promos, Trump praises broadcaster". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286.
  51. ^ "Duan News, Video and Gossip - Deadspin". DUAN. October 27, 2019.
  52. ^ "Deadspin's traffic and execution will both need to vastly improve if the site wants to survive in the long term". Awful Announcing. May 28, 2020. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  53. ^ Elman, Jake (July 6, 2021). "Deadspin Sealed Its Fate as the Biggest Loser In the Rachel Nichols-Maria Taylor Saga Before the NBA Bubble Even Began". Sportscasting | Pure Sports. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  54. ^ Gillespie, Brandon (December 30, 2021). "Deadspin ripped for referring to ESPN's Sage Steele as 'the Black Candace Owens,' deleting and reposting tweet". Fox News. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  55. ^ "Why The 'Idiots' Hate Sage Steele". OutKick. December 30, 2021. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  56. ^ "We need to talk about Deadspin". Awful Announcing. January 26, 2022. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  57. ^ "Sure, Mike McDaniel seems cool, but he's not worthy of a head coaching gig yet". Deadspin. Retrieved January 27, 2022.
  58. ^ Nguyen, Alex (November 29, 2023). "Deadspin Reporter Slammed by Mom of KC Chiefs Fan for Blackface Accusation". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 29, 2023.
  59. ^ Phillips, Carron J. (November 27, 2023). "The NFL Must Ban Native Headdress And Culturally Insensitive Face Paint in the Stands (UPDATED)". Deadspin. Retrieved December 23, 2023.
  60. ^ Koenig, Melissa (December 4, 2023). "Parents of 9-year-old Chiefs fan threaten to sue Deadspin over 'blackface' claim". New York Post. Retrieved December 4, 2023.
  61. ^ "Family of Kid Accused of Blackface Sues Deadspin". February 7, 2024.
  62. ^ "Política de Jogo Responsável" (in Brazilian Portuguese). December 14, 2023. Retrieved May 30, 2024.
  63. ^ Rowles, Dustin (March 21, 2024). "Deadspin Version 3.0 Will Be a Gambling Referral Site". Pajiba. Retrieved March 21, 2024.