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Deadspin’s Death Spiral

Deadspin, a website renowned for its unique take on sports news, has been acquired by Lineup Publishing, a European digital media entity. This transition marks another chapter, perhaps its final, in the evolving story of Deadspin, a platform that has been influential in the sports journalism sector since its inception in 2005.

Deadspin’s journey began as a blog under the Gawker Media umbrella, establishing itself as a standout voice in sports journalism. Its fearless approach to covering sports, coupled with a keen sense of humor and a critical eye, quickly garnered a dedicated following. Deadspin was not just another sports news outlet; it was a community for those who sought a deeper, more nuanced take on the sports world.

The sale of Deadspin by its owner, G/O Media, to Lineup Publishing, was announced by G/O Media’s CEO, Jim Spanfeller, in an email to staff. G/O Media, backed by the private equity firm Great Hill Partners, houses several digital brands including Gizmodo, Kotaku, and The Onion. According to Spanfeller, the decision to sell was influenced by Lineup Publishing’s editorial vision for Deadspin, the intense competition in sports journalism, and a sale price that offered a significant return on investment.


However, the transition comes with its set of changes. Notably, the current Deadspin staff will not be joining the new iteration under Lineup Publishing, marking the end of an era for the site’s existing editorial team. Spanfeller highlighted that while the new owners intend to honor Deadspin’s distinctive voice, they plan to shift the content direction in terms of sports coverage.

The acquisition has sparked discussions about the future of Deadspin and its place in sports journalism. Deadspin was more than just a website; it was a critical voice that often challenged the mainstream sports media narrative. It tackled topics that others shied away from, including the intersection of sports with politics, culture, and society. The platform’s commitment to unvarnished truth-telling earned it both acclaim and controversy, making it a vital part of the sports media ecosystem.

The sale to Lineup Publishing, a company described as focusing on “engaging brands with heaps of character” and based in Malta, raises questions about the future editorial direction of Deadspin. Fans and readers of the site are eager to see how its legacy of provocative and insightful sports journalism will be carried forward under new ownership.

As Deadspin transitions to its new phase under Lineup Publishing, the sports world watches with bated breath. Will the new Deadspin continue to push the boundaries of sports journalism, or will it take a different path? Only time will tell, but the impact of Deadspin’s original ethos on sports journalism and its audience will undoubtedly endure, serving as a testament to the power of a unique voice in a crowded media landscape.