Former New York Daily News editor-in-chief Jim Rich has been tasked with the job of bringing sports-related site Deadspin back to life, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. Rich will take the helm of the site, which has had no staffers since early November, on Jan. 27. He will be based in Chicago. Last year’s mass exodus followed a demand from the management of G/O Media, which owns Deadspin, that editors limit their coverage to sports-related topics. Rich says that he would consider re-hiring writers and editors who had walked out. He also told the Journal that he made no promises to G/O Media chief executive Jim Spanfeller that the revived site would stick solely to sports. G/O Media was formed when private-equity firm Great Hill Partners acquired the Gizmodo Media Group and The Onion from Univision last April.
Meredith Corporation has sold fan-focused sports and entertainment site FanSided to Minute Media. FanSided and its platform of individual sites will remain standalone properties and operate within the Minute Media family of publishers. FanSided’s staff will join Minute Media. The acquisition is the fourth for Minute Media over the past 18 months. In December, the company announced it would acquire Derek Jeter’s The Players’ Tribune, which follows the company’s purchase of The Big Lead and Mental Floss. Launched in 2007 as a site centered on coverage of the Kansas City Chiefs, FanSided eventually encompassed 300 individual communities dedicated to bringing together fans of many teams. In 2015, the company was acquired by Time Inc., which was subsequently acquired by Meredith in November 2018.
Bill Abbott, the president and chief executive of Crown Media Family Networks (owner of the Hallmark Channel), is stepping down after 11 years in the position. His departure follows the controversy generated by the Hallmark Channel’s decision to pull ads for wedding-planning firm Zola featuring a wedding between two brides. The ads were yanked after One Million Moms, an arm of the conservative American Family Association, circulated a petition asking Hallmark to “reconsider airing commercials with same-sex couples.” Mike Perry, the CEO of Hallmark Cards, which owns Crown Media, said he had begun a search for Abbott’s replacement.