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SPORPS!

You know who is not a sports person? Any of the employees at this mommyblog, Wonkette, except Evan, sort of, when he feels like it. You know who else is not a sports person? Many of the people who read Deadspin every day, a supposed sports website that they will never read again.

People of the Internet are probably already familiar with this week's events at Deadspin. After shuttering Deadspin's politics-focused sister site Splinter News just three weeks ago for nobody knows why, new idiot owners told Deadspin to stick to sports; they absolutely did not; new idiot owners fired the top editor remaining; everyone else waved a giant middle finger at new idiot owners on the way out the door.

This is a hallowed tradition in alternative media, but Deadspin, while originally a Gawker site (as was your Wonkette before they sold it to the guy who sold it to us), is no longer alternative media. It was purchased recently from Univision by some stable geniuses who installed a Forbes guy, who installed his own Forbes guys, who sat around with their thumbs up their asses while the people who actually did the work left the company because they were women and/or people of color.

Never think a hedge fund is going to save you.


Our immediate suspect in the death of Deadspin, whether or not they hire some college kids to keep it limping along, is Jim Spanfeller, a former Forbes guy made CEO of the company, who immediately made his presence known by refusing to interview any of the women who worked there for top jobs before hiring white guys in their 50s and 60s to sit in an office and not tell anyone what they do. (That one's a longread that doesn't start getting DEVASTATING until about halfway through; I encourage you to stick with it. The authors? Spanfeller's now-presumably-former employees.)

In telling Deadspin to "stick to sports" and firing the editor who ignored them, Spanfeller and his upper management killed the thing that was making the money, because fuck you is why.

Maybe a listicle will help.

Forbes and tronc and the bros wrecking everything

Forbes has had an outsized role in sending modern-day Vandals to sack and poop on their betters. There is a class of media management that have been hiring each other to ruin the LA Times (defeated! for now!), all of Tribune publishing (renamed tronc by its idiot looters), and now the former Gawker Media, which became GMG (Gizmodo Media Group) when Univision bought it and then G/O Media when Great Hills took it off Univision's shaking hands. (Last link by Univision employees. And it's not pretty either!)

At the LA Times, former Forbes dude Lewis D'Vorkin, in his very short career there, was ready to implement an "unpaid contributor model" instead of journalism by journalists. At G/O, former Forbes dude Spanfeller had BIG NEW ideas straight out of 2004: MOAR LISTICLES. Plus those Taboola things littered all over the Internet. Plus ??? PROFIT!

Forbes isn't alone in sending out its sticky dried-lubed tentacles into the media universe. The Forbes guys combined with the goons of tronc, or Tribune (who can keep track?), who all have a habit of feeding each other tasty morsels from the gardens they are supposed to tend. In January 2017, the gross bros at tronc bought Spanfeller's Spanfeller Media Group, which owned "The Daily Meal," whatever that might be. A few months later, they hired Ross Levinsohn as publisher of the LA Times for you do NOT want to know how much money. Before Levinsohn flaaaaaamed ouuuuuuut (LONGREAD! READ IT! Oh, a followup? OKAY!), he hired as editor-in-chief D'Vorkin, his old partner at True/Slant, where they paid based on clicks (we will read more about that later!). Levinsohn also managed to help out his pal James Heckman. Those two had a decades-long habit of being hired to run large companies and then acquiring each other's startups for just gross fucking money before they laid off all the people who worked there. Levinsohn, in his ninth life, has just taken over Sports Fucking Illustrated; it will be the flagship sports site for themaven.net, Heckman's platform (seeking investors!) whose previous biggest get was Erick Erickson without RedState.

(Disclosure: I was this close to letting those guys run Wonkette's ad shit. So. That would have been bad!)

What did that have to do with anything, Rebecca?

Nothing really, just these guys are EVERYWHERE, ruining EVERYTHING, and the self-dealing is ASTOUNDING. Which is pretty much how the leveraged buyout guys do: they purchase a company with borrowed money; load it down with the debt they acquired purchasing it; charge it millions in consulting fees; and become the junior senator from Utah.

You promised we would read more about pay-per-click, everyone is clamoring!

I always keep my promises. Yesterday, in between reading every not overly complimentary thing the Deadspin and other former Gawker Media sites had ever written about their own employers, I fell down a rabbit hole about the finances of Gawker when it was Gawker. Felix Salmon (another one-time Univision employee who sat uncomfortably with his new colleagues at then-new Fusion/Gizmodo Media Group) at Portfolio went all in explicating Gawker's 2008-era click-based bonuses. Gawker founder Nick Denton had overpromised and could no longer afford to give a bonus of $7.50 per thousand pageviews to his writers, on top of their low-ish base salaries.

So after rent, a fat layer of New York-based management paid New York-style salaries, server costs, and, I don't know, money for a brand new Motorola flip phone, Denton still had $7.50 per thousand pageviews LEFT OVER. (Until he didn't.) Of course, this is before Mark Zuckerberg took the ad market hostage. I just did the math, and the highest RPM (ad revenue per thousand pageviews) Wonkette has ever received over all its pageviews for a year (at least since I bought it in 2012) was $1.50.

Maybe I am not as #BeBest at business as I thought! Or maybe those kinds of CPMs (cost for one ad for a thousand pageviews) and RPMs don't exist anymore.

Jim Spanfeller's gonna need more slideshows and listicles.

You forgetting some villains, Rebecca?

Yeah yeah yeah, Peter Fucking Thiel. We know.

Will the last remaining awesome website please turn out the lights?

Oh you mean us? Wonkette will NEVER DIE. But we are testing putting one tiny little ad in the corner. While you've been sending us your lovely small widow's mite (or your lovely big widow's ... big!), I didn't take a salary this month. And while I have one month's worth of savings in the bank, I don't have two. That and the fact that I'm hiring Robyn and SER full-time in January, whether I have the money or not (if I have to take another loan, I will take another loan, but I just finally paid off the $47 and a sandwich I borrowed to buy this joint!) means unless MOAR OF YOU SEND MONEY instead of just relying on the one percent of our readers who already do, well, I'm trying out an ad. I'm guessing I might even get $1.50 per thousand pageviews out of it! It'll be small, in the corner, muted, and I like it because it's a slideshow of Wonkette stories for you to click on! Plus a dumb (muted!) video that if it starts burning up your browser or eating all your meager rural bandwidth for the month, TELL ME. I care more about you being here than a fucking ad. And NO LISTICLE SLIDESHOWS EITHER.

But besides us, there's still a few indies left. There's Crooks & Liars, Lawyers Guns & Money, Digby, Marcy, and TPM. And I think that's ... it? Go give them some pageviews, and some love.

In Memoriam and Conclusion

Sorry Deadspin. You didn't suck.

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Rebecca Schoenkopf

Rebecca Schoenkopf is the owner, publisher, and editrix of Wonkette. She is a nice lady, SHUT UP YUH HUH. She is very tired with this fucking nonsense all of the time, and it would be terrific if you sent money to keep this bitch afloat. She is on maternity leave until 2033.

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