May 20, 2024

It appears there is something to the saying “Go woke, go broke,” after all. Sports blogging giant Deadspin has experienced yet another shakeup as its parent company announced that it was selling the news outlet to a European firm.

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The decision was revealed in a memo to employees, who found out that they would not be keeping their jobs.

Sports blogging site Deadspin was sold to a European start-up and the entire staff was reportedly fired with barely any notice Monday — just months after the publication was forced to apologize for accusing a young Kansas City Chiefs fan of wearing “blackface.”

Jim Spanfeller, the CEO of parent G/O Media, broke news of the sale and the layoffs in a memo to shocked staff — the latest piece the crumbling company has dumped amid a wave of job cuts in the industry.

“Recently we were approached by the European firm Lineup Publishing expressing interest in purchasing Deadspin to add to their growing media holdings,” Spanfeller said.

Lineup Publishing will “not carry over any of the site’s existing staff and instead build a new team more in line with their editorial vision for the brand,” the CEO added. “While the new owners plan to be reverential to Deadpin’s unique voice, they plan to take a different content approach regarding the site’s overall sports coverage. This unfortunately means that we will be parting ways with those impacted staff members.”

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The sale of Deadspin is not simply a change of ownership. It reflects the broader strategy of G/O Media to refine its focus and perhaps pivot to a more traditional editorial direction. It comes amid criticism about the site’s extreme left-wing bent in its reportage and just after one of its columnists falsely smeared a nine-year-old boy for supposedly wearing blackface during a football game.

Writer Carron Phillips saw an image of a young boy in profile at the Chiefs game, wearing a feathered headdress in team colors, and the visible side of his face colored in black. As a result, Carron (pronounced as “Karen” and also behaved as one) pronounced this to be “blackface” and doubly racist towards Native Americans, and he called on the league to take action. Then, it was revealed through other images this boy had red paint on the other half of his face. Once this was pointed out to him, Phillips lashed out at others, calling his critics “idiots” and accusing them — for reasons known only to him — of hating Mexicans.

The new direction suggests that perhaps G/O Media and Lineup Publishing recognize that pushing progressive propaganda to the point that they are going after children was probably not the best move. This overhaul is much needed, given how Deadspin was widely panned for publishing the blackface piece.

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G/O Media, in particular, has felt the consequences of pushing radical propaganda on its readers. The company also sold off Jezebel, another far-leftist publication.

The sale of Deadspin could portend a wider reckoning among news outlets – especially those covering news that should have nothing to do with ideology. It could send a message that shouldn’t need to be sent in the first place: When people watch sports, they want to watch sports, not be preached at.

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