Ex-Deadspin staffers reunite to launch sports and culture site Defector Media
It’s the staff revolt that refuses to die.
More than a dozen of the Deadspin staffers who left the sports website for dead when they walked off their jobs last year have banded together to launch a rival sports and culture site.
Defector Media will be staffed by 18 of the roughly 25 Deadspin writers and editors who quit en masse following a heated dispute with management about the direction of the website.
The threat of a rival upstart marks the latest problem for G/O Media-owned Deadspin, which took so long to get back up and running, there were no more live sporting events to cover because of the coronavirus.
Tom Ley, Deadspin’s former feature editor, will be the editor-in-chief of the new site, which plans to unveil a subscription-supported website and a weekly podcast in September. Jasper Wang, an ex-Bain & Co. staffer, will be handling the business side.
Each staffer will own a 5 percent stake in the company, according to The New York Times, which broke the news. Ley and Wang did not return calls or emails from Media Ink, but told the Times that they hope to charge subscribers $8 per month.
The first podcast will be available Aug. 13, in advance of the website’s launch in September. Annual subscription prices will start at $69 for a basic “reader” — on up to $25,000 for subscribers the site refers to as “mysterious investor sicko lawyer.”
By Tuesday, some fans of the old Deadspin reported they were having trouble subscribing, with one reader offering this advice on Twitter: “Let’s hope what you do now is more original and less smarmy than Deadspin. You seemed to think it was edgy but it was mostly bro takes. Make use of this second chance, folks. DON’T pick right up where you left off.”
Ley and other editorial staffers walked over an unpopular edict to “stick to sports,” issued by G/O Media CEO James Spanfeller’s then-editorial director Paul Maidment.
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