Defector, the site launched Tuesday by 18 former Deadspin staffers, reported 10,000 subscriptions in its first day.
“Over 10,000 people subscribed to defector.com on Day One, but billions more have the opportunity to join on Day Two,” the official website account tweeted Wednesday.
Columnist Drew Magary told TheWrap by email that the response has been “genuinely overwhelming” and “very nice.”
“I was fairly confident we’d have a nice day but I didn’t think people would be so excited and sign on so quickly,” he said, adding that colleague Luis Paez-Pumar described the reaction “like all of the affection from the day we quit, but in response to GOOD news.”
Deadspin saw a mass staff exodus in November 2019 after every staff editor and writer resigned following the firing of top editor Barry Petchesky for failing to heed the new owners’ directive to focus exclusively on sports content.
The Defector website declares, “We made this place together, we own it together, we run it together. Without access, without favor, without discretion, and without interference.”
There are subscription tiers available with various benefits, from commenting privileges to bespoke birthday videos from staffers.
The site’s editorial content will launch in September, while a podcast will be available in August. As for whether any other voices, like some of Deadspin’s notable freelancers, will also participate, Magary said, “I know we wanna bring more people aboard as we go along but for now we’re trying to make this a viable company” for the staffers already onboard.
He noted, “That in itself has already proven to be a bigass challenge but with more days like today I think we can pull it off.”