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Deadspin sold, all staff being let go

Sports site Deadspin will lay off its entire staff after it was sold to a European holding firm, parent company G/O Media announced Monday.

The long-standing sports commentary and news site will retain its name, but lose all of its staffers after a sale to Lineup Publishing.

G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller said in a statement to staff that the site was not actively being shopped for sale.

“The rationale behind the decision to sell included a variety of important factors that include the buyer’s editorial plans for the brand, tough competition in the sports journalism sector, and a valuation that reflected a sizable premium from our original purchase price for the site,” Spanfeller wrote.

The cuts add to the thousands of journalism layoffs in the last year that have ravaged the industry. It was the third round of layoffs at the company in a year.

Deadspin’s union, the Onion Inc Union, denounced the decision in a statement.

“Layoffs like this have become all too common at this company and in our industry at large,” the union said. “This is why we fought for the severance package in our most recent contract, but the Deadspin staff deserve so much more than that.”

Spanfeller said the decision to lay off the entire staff was to “build a team more in line with [Lineup Publishing’s] editorial vision for the brand.”

“While the new owners plan to be reverential to Deadspin’s unique voice, they plan to take a different content approach regarding the site’s overall sports coverage,” he said.

Deadspin staffers were locked out of their laptops and given just minutes to leave the company’s office on Monday, according to The Daily Beast’s Justin Baragona.

The Deadspin sale comes after G/O Media shut down and later sold Jezebel last year, and similarly sold lifestyle site Lifehacker.

The site was formerly a subsidiary of Gawker Media and published notable works including exclusive reporting of alleged sexual misconduct by Brett Farve, and the Manti Te’o catfishing story which was later developed into a Netflix documentary.

A number of senior writers and editors resigned from Deadspin in 2019, citing editorial conflict with new owners G/O Media, and later formed off-shoot site Defector.

The Hill has reached out to G/O Media for comment.

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