Deadspin Staffers Resign en Masse After Top Editor Fired

Three of five top editors at the site have either resigned or been fired, and more than half of the site’s 10 staff writers have quit

Last Updated: October 30, 2019 @ 4:03 PM

At least seven reporters and editors at Deadspin resigned on Wednesday afternoon following the firing of top editor Barry Petchesky.

Features editor Tom Ley and staff writers Laura Wagner, Lauren Theisen, Patrick Redford, Chris Thompson, Kelsey McKinney, and Albert Burneko announced on Twitter that they were quitting the site within minutes of each another. Based on a staff directory available on Deadspin’s website, three out of five top editors at the site have either resigned or been fired, and more than half of the site’s 10 staff writers have quit since Petchesky was fired on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, Petchesky — then the deputy editor and interim editor in chief of Deadspin — announced on Twitter that he had been fired for “not sticking to sports.” Leadership at G/O Media, the publisher of Deadspin, had issued a memo to staff on Monday, emphasizing that the site’s “sole focus” would be on sports content — and only on sports.

“Where such subjects touch on sports, they are fair game for Deadspin. Where they do not, they are not,” G/O editorial director Paul Maidment wrote. “We have plenty of other sites that write about politics, pop culture, the arts and the rest, and they are the appropriate places for such work.”

Later that day, after Petchesky announced his firing, senior editor Diana Moskovitz also tweeted that she had put in her two-weeks’ notice in at the company the previous week.

G/O Media did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but a company spokesperson told Max Tani of the Daily Beast, “They resigned and we’re sorry that they couldn’t work within this incredibly broad coverage mandate. We’re excited about Deadspin’s future and we’ll have some important updates in the coming days.”

In a statement issued on Twitter, the Gizmodo Media Group Union said it condemned G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller “in the strongest possible terms” for “curtailing [Deadspin’s] most well-read coverage because it makes him personally uncomfortable.”

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