Deadspin, the once-popular and frequently viral sports-based website is essentially dead in the water. The staff is gone, some upper management has fled, and while it is still accessible there has been no new content on the site for a week.

After the bulk of the staff had quit in a matter of days following an edict handed down by some of the new bosses there was all manner of contemplation over whether the site can ever return. Well, the hopes of the editors and writers being lured back fade with each passing day — and with each new job that is landed by those former workers.

Samer Kalaf is one of those prodigals and he has just begun work with his new outlet, The Outline. Here he displays a couple of the traits that were a Deadspin trademark: Gutteral snark (as seen in the headline) and trashing its competitor, Barstool Sports.

It is a rather astounding piece of hubris, as Kalaf is dismissive and lectures of propriety in the workplace, just days after he and his co-workers rendered a viable website by walking out in a professional snit. I covered the moves behind the site going down last week, and the reasons behind it all are baffling. The new management wanted to increase traffic for ad revenue but it decided to cut out all cultural articles which were generating strong page views. In response, the writers at a sports website were angered when they were told to write only sports coverage.

All of it led to a staff exodus, and Kalaf has now landed at his new site but is reverting to his old ways.

This was not lost on Barstool Sports President Dave Portnoy, partly because his profile was headlining the article.

Portnoy mostly reacted to Samer Kalaf proposing the workers at Barstool should unionize, for their own protection. As Portnoy noted how Samer was “lecturing Barstool employees how they need to form a Union while simultaneously admitting the Gawker Union did nothing to save them from total and complete destruction.”

Nor could it save them from self-immolation. As Kalaf described it: “Near the end of my time there, I saw firsthand that private equity is a relentless monstrosity that will consume anything it can, even if the property is profitable. A union might not be able to win every battle — no union can — but it sure as hell beats nothing.”

That “battle” was management directing the type of work it expected from the editorial staff. When the staff did not like the decision of the bosses they stormed out of the office. How does a union save the jobs of a petulant staff that walks out in a grandstanding fashion?

Portnoy then brought up another detail in the Kalaf saga. The site that he is currently writing with is a curious choice because its owner was scorched in trademark Deadspin fashion a little over one year ago — by Samer Kalaf. In July 2018 Bryan Goldberg, who owns a number of websites, purchased the archives of the rendered site Gawker, after it was infamously found guilty of libel. (Deadspin was part of the Gawker syndicate of sites.)

This purchase rankled Kalaf, and he lashed out at Goldberg. Calling him “sweaty”, and a “goon”, he described Goldberg’s Bleacher Report “a sports site for idiots”. He then referenced a number of past articles that insulted his visible presence and referred to him as an “asshole”. So despised was Goldberg that he was insulted personally, professionally, and physically. Samer would never have a thing to do with this man!

That is, until he was out of work. Suddenly he was not such a blight on society, once he was signing the paychecks.

Portnoy obviously relished this turnabout in the personal scruples of the man now trying to undermine his own website. “I mean it’s literal insanity. Did he not think people would put together this connection? Regardless one thing is becoming abundantly clear with Samer. He has no morals or ethics when it comes to collecting a paycheck.”

Kalaf continued to try inflicting his business acumen on another website.

It is not enough that Samer and his cronies tore down their own workplace — now he wants to spread his virus to others where he has no vested interest. In not surprising fashion the recommendations are being tossed away faster than a hotdog wrapper at a ballgame.

 

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