This isn’t even a question of economics, per se, as Deadspin — and, indeed, G/O Media entities as a whole — are profitable. Deadspin’s future isn’t in jeopardy because it wasn’t making enough money, but because a jury in Florida decided that Hulk Hogan was owed over a hundred million dollars because his public image was embarrassed, in a case bankrolled by Peter Thiel due to a personal vendetta against Gawker. The network of profitable sites was then sold to Univision and used as collateral by its private equity owners, which piled on billions of dollars of debt. Those sites were then sold to Great Hill Partners, another private equity group, which installed as CEO a guy who seems to hate everything about the sites, and who used to run the Internet Advertising Bureau — which might explain why all of these websites are now laden with garbage advertising.
All of this is to say that blogging is a format that is still very much alive, especially if you stretch the definition. But the most powerful people in the room desperately dislike the validity of independent and unconventional writing, and are doing all they can to dismantle it.
Nick Heer on.
It’s also worth pointing out Hulk Hogan’s “public image” was “embarrassed” because he was caught saying racist things on camera. So, y’know. There’s that. And, for those who missed it, Thiel’s vendetta was because Gawker once ran a story pointing out he’s gay… but also a huge bank-roller of far-right (and thus often anti-gay) causes.
Either way, the point is that a pair of millionaires who got caught out being shitlords and got hurt fee-fees because of it basically burnt and salted the earth for an entire segment of online journalism…