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Tuesday, April 16, 2024
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Company Behind Stories Populating ‘Zombie Deadspin’ Frustrated by Inability to Reach Owners of Zombie Deadspin

  • A source says Field Level Media, a sports news service used by Deadspin, has struggled to reach the site's new owners.
  • It's unclear who exactly owns Deadspin and why their website refers to the small nation of Malta.
Credit: Deadspin

A day after about a dozen staffers were laid off amid a shadowy company’s purchase of Deadspin, new stories continued to populate the sports news website Tuesday. 

Field Level Media—a sports news service that counts Reuters, Yardbarker, and more than a dozen others as subscribers—is the company behind the fresh stories on Deadspin, with which it has an existing multiyear deal. But a source within FLM told Front Office Sports that the company isn’t thrilled its content is the only new news on Deadspin—long referred to as “zombie Deadspin” since its entire editorial staff resigned in 2019 in protest of the firing of editor-in-chief Barry Petchesky over his refusal to accept a mandate from site ownership to stick to sports.

“We learned of the sale through major news coverage and headlines referencing layoffs,” the source said. “Content is running to the site as it would any client under contractual agreement as of now.”

The problem for FLM is that—like the rest of us—it doesn’t know much about Lineup Publishing, the supposed European company that purchased Deadspin for an undisclosed sum. (Lineup Publishing has failed to respond to repeated requests for comment since the sale was announced Monday.) FLM has not been provided a point of contact for Lineup Publishing, and company officials are trying to determine who to ask about the editorial decisions at the website. 

The stories aren’t exclusive to Deadspin. FLM has more than 200 writers who cover sports news, typically game stories and other news like trades and other transactions. But while FLM content had been used on Deadspin previously, it now dominates the site. 

Tuesday afternoon, an FLM story on the Big East men’s basketball tournament was the lead story on Deadspin. The same story, using the same picture, was run by Yardbarker and Big News Network but not featured very prominently on either website. 

Lineup Publishing remains a major unknown. The company’s bare-bones website was registered Thursday and for no evident reason lists San Gwann, a town in Malta, on the site. There is no explanation of whether the company purports to be based in the small European island nation or lists it on the site for some other reason.

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