It’s a real shame what greed and incompetence will do to a good thing. We saw it happen over at the site that shall not be named, and we are watching it happen live at Deadspin this very day.
It all started with an ad. Or rather, a series of ads as a result of a new, universally hated advertisement policy. Deadspin started to feature auto play, auto sound, video advertising. You see, Deadspin and it’s various collection of Gawker website always pushed the bounds of advertisement, but it was always at least semi-reasonable. Readers complained loud and they complained often. The writers put up a post describing the situation, that the ads were out of their control and they were begging management to stop it. That post was removed by management, in an apparent violation of their union agreement.
Following that post, management sent a memo telling Deadspin writers to “stick to sports” This…did not go over well. One of the key foundations to Deadspin has always been their ability to write intelligently about not only sports, but how sports relates to the rest of the world at any given time.
So the writers retaliated the only way they know how. They started writing posts that were clearly in defiance to their new edict, while following the letter of the law precisely. They started posting posts that were all tagged as “Stick to Sports” They started posting articles with not so thinly veiled coded messaging. Take this post about the MLS cup for example:
In order words, they posted using Malicious Compliance.
So management responded by firing deputy editor Barry Petchesky and have disabled comments site wide.
The move has ground Deadspin to a halt as staffers have begun to resign in protest, one by one.
Writers Laura Wagner, Kelsey McKinney, Tom Ley, Lauren Theisen, Patrick Redford, Albert Burneko and Chris Thompson all tweeted today that they have resigned from Deadspin, the sports-focused site owned by G/O Media.
The list continues to grow:
As a result of this very public pissing contest, Deadspin has been left a husk of what it once was. Comments are disabled. Articles are few and far between, and the ones that are there lack their usual quality and content. Deadspin is dead ladies and gentleman. It’s a sad day. I honestly don’t know where I will go to get my sports news anymore. NBC’s site is a unusable mess, ESPN, Yahoo, CBS, SI are all impossible to follow with their no comment, don’t piss anyone off mentality. Official league pages such as MLB.com and NFL.com are full of watered down, neutered nonsense. Bleacher Report is OK I guess. I don’t know what is left? I’m open to suggestions here. In the mean time, all we can do is sit around and watch as incompetent management run one of the better sports sites into the ground.
And if anyone from Deadspin is reading this, you are more than welcome to join our little blog, and write whatever you want! I promise, no video ads!