Group of Deadspin writers quit after being ordered to 'stick to sports'

Group of Deadspin writers quit after being ordered to 'stick to sports'
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A group of bloggers at the popular website Deadspin quit after a disagreement with management over the focus of the site.

Paul Maidment, the editorial director at G/O, the company that owns Deadspin, reportedly issued a memo to employees on Monday directing them to make sports the “sole focus” of the site’s coverage, the Daily Beast reported. Deadspin previously covered sports alongside culture, politics and media. 

However, instead of sticking to the directive, staffers placed multiple popular non-sports stories – including “The Adults in the Room,” an article written by former Deadspin editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell slamming Deadspin’s new parent company G/O Media, according to CNN– on the site's homepage.

Deadspin interim editor-in-chief Barry Petchesky posted that he was fired from his position Tuesday for “not sticking to sports.” 

Wednesday evening, multiple other employees tweeted that they walked out in protest of the editorial changes at the site. 

Deadspin advertises itself as “sports news without access, favor or discretion.” Earlier this year, the financial equity firm Great Hills Partners bought Deadspin alongside its sister sites like The Root, Gizmodo and Jezebel. 

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The company shut down liberal news site Splinter earlier this month.

The Gizmodo Media Group Union supported the staff's walkout, alleging in a statement that CEO Jim Spanfeller was responsible for the new coverage restrictions.

“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," the statement reads. "This is not what journalism looks like and it is not what editorial independence looks like.”

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

The Daily Beast Media Reporter Max Tani tweeted that he received a statement from a G/O spokesperson.