Megan Greenwell, Deadspin’s top editor, is leaving the site, she announced Friday. Greenwell was the first female editor in chief of the sports website, which rose to prominence as part of the Gawker network and is known for its adversarial brand of journalism.
Her last day at Deadspin is Aug. 23.
Greenwell’s exit, 18 months after she was hired, comes at a time of upheaval for G/O Media, a collection of “digital-first brands” including Deadspin, Splinter, Lifehacker, Kotaku, the Onion and more. In April, the sites were sold by Univision to private equity firm Great Hill Partners. In recent months, the site’s new leadership — including CEO Jim Spanfeller, previously with Forbes — has clashed with Deadspin staffers over the direction of the site.
“I am proud of our record covering sports and related topics and think our strong traffic, loyal readership, and excellent journalism speak for themselves,” Greenwell said in a statement. “I chose to leave now after months of being undermined by G/O Media management, but I have full confidence in my excellent Deadspin colleagues’ ability to keep doing the incredible work they do.”
In July, a survey appeared on Deadspin’s landing page, asking readers what they liked least about the site, including such options as “political coverage and strong political point of view” and “criticism and coverage of other media companies.”
Earlier this month, Deadspin published a lengthy investigation into Spanfeller that called into question some of the hires he has made at G/O, as well as his management style. Spanfeller suggested that an independent third party editor vet the piece before publication.
Before Deadspin, Greenwell worked as an editor at Esquire, ESPN the Magazine and New York magazine. According to several people who had heard of Greenwell’s plans, one potential landing spot is as an editor at Wired. She declined to discuss her plans.
“We are laser focused on serving Deadspin readers sports and everything related to sports,” G/O Media editorial director Paul Maidment said in a statement. “Our former editor had a different vision and we wish her well in her future endeavors.”