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Deadspin named its last editor-in-chief, who already quit


Deadspin‘s entire editorial staff has resigned in protest over the course of the week, leaving the future of the popular sports blog up in the air.

In a tongue-in-cheek blog post published on Friday, senior editor Diana Moskovitz announced that she is promoting staff writer Dave McKenna, whose last day is Friday, to the role of editor in chief.

“McKenna has graciously agreed to accept his new position until the end of the day (this is his last day),” Moskovitz wrote. “Please note that Dave McKenna was the last EIC of Deadspin.”

Moskovitz had given her own two weeks notice last week, she tweeted. Shortly after she published her blog post on Friday, Moskovitz said her publishing rights had been revoked.

McKenna’s “promotion” and a series of blog posts — “Sports Blogs, Ranked,” “Was Deadspin A Good Sports Blog? A Very Short Debate,” “A Bear Friday For The Road,” and “Thank You” — were among the last acts of defiance from Deadspin’s remaining staff.

Deadspin’s former editor-in-chief Megan Greenwell tweeted on Friday that the sports site “no longer employs a single writer on editor,” a coda that marks the end of a dramatic week. “And with that, it’s over,” she said.

The declaration came after a week of turmoil inside Deadspin, one of the sites under G/O Media that, in addition to sports, also covers politics, media and culture. Greenwell said she is “gutted but so very proud of this group of people. Deadspin was a good website.”

It’s unclear what the future holds for Deadspin in its current iteration. When pressed for an update on Friday, a G/O Media spokesperson told CNN Business the company will continue to publish over the weekend and recruit new staff.

A blog post on basketball, specifically about players Kevin Durant and Draymond Green, was published on Friday with a byline that did not belong to a former Deadspin staffer. After receiving backlash on Twitter, where the author shared news of his Deadspin debut in a now-deleted tweet, he tweeted he is “out of Deadspin.”

CNN Business did not immediately hear back from the union for Gizmodo Media Group (the former name of G/O Media) and Writers Guild of America, East, which represents the union.

The exodus of Deadspin writers was swift after G/O Media’s editorial director Paul Maidment sent a memo to the staff on Monday instructing them to “stick to sports.” The staff revolted, arguing that some of the site’s most popular stories were unrelated to sports.

On Tuesday, G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller fired interim editor-in-chief Barry Petchesky after Deadspin’s staff rebelled against the mandate by filling its homepage with non-sports stories from the past and by publishing new stories that were not sports-related. Petchesky also spoke out against G/O Media for removing a blog Deadspin published asking for feedback on the site’s user experience, including audio-on autoplay videos.

The day after Petchesky’s firing, at least seven Deadspin staffers announced their resignations on Twitter. By Thursday, the number of resignations doubled to at least 15 staffers. On Friday, Greenwell tweeted that McKenna had also resigned.

Earlier this week, a spokesperson said in a statement, “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.”

G/O Media tried to defend its mandate against non-sports coverage on Thursday by sharing traffic statistics from September. Petchesky disputed the notion that non-sports stories performed worse than sports stories.

“I knew we would go out somehow,” former Deadspin columnist Drew Magary said on Deadspin’s podcast Deadcast, recorded on Wednesday. “Deadspin would not always last, but I was hoping for it to be a bit more fun than this.”

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