Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy celebrated a mass exodus of employees from his rival, Deadspin, this week with an onslaught of taunts at the liberal sports blog -- even offering his longtime rival a new gig as his personal butler.
“So by now everybody knows that Deadspin has imploded. 90% of the staff has either been fired or quit. It's over,” Portnoy wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. “They are dead. I have destroyed them just like I have destroyed every single enemy who has ever dared cross my path.”
Deadspin has long been a thorn in Barstool’s side, regularly posting negative stories about its rival. Deadspin has recently criticized Portnoy’s stance on unions, referred to the site as “blog for dips--ts, by dips--ts,” revealed the identity of a previously anonymous Barstool star and declared that Barstool was built on “openly and aggressively misogynistic and otherwise offensive blog posts.”
Earlier this year, Portnoy brushed it off and told Fox News that Deadspin “will be gone” in a couple of years. While Deadspin still exists, it’s had a rough week and lost much of its staff.
On Monday, a memo written by parent company G/O Media editorial director Paul Maidment was leaked, reportedly directing Deadspin employees that its site will have a "100 percent focus" on sports.
"To create as much great sports journalism as we can requires a 100 percent focus of our resources on sports. And it will be the sole focus," Maidment said according to The Daily Beast. "Deadspin will write only about sports and that which is relevant to sports in some way."
As a result, Deadspin's deputy editor Barry Petchesky – who continued to publish non-sports content, defying his boss’ orders -- announced Tuesday that he had been fired by what was historically known to be a left-leaning site.
Portnoy quickly took to Twitter, offering Petchesky a $100,000 yearly salary with benefits to be his "butler."
"It's not even hard. You just have to call my Amex black card guy and book my private planes and s---. Very easy," Portnoy added.
By Wednesday, several of Deadspin’s top employees quit in solidarity with Maidment while Portnoy continued to mock and taunt them on social media.
Deadspin parent company G/O Media did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
When now-former Deadspin media reporter Laura Wagner announced she quit, Portnoy posted a video of himself singing Billy Joel’s The Time to Remember” dedicated to his longtime nemesis.
Portnoy also taunted Deadspin staffers who didn’t quit, calling them “cowards” for sticking around while they “pretend to be the moral authority on the internet.”
“A company that has declared bankruptcy, been sold and failed, sold and failed, sold and failed more times than I have fingers just cost their new owners a 1 million dollar ad deal because the entitled spoiled brat writers at Deadspin wouldn’t stop bashing their ad campaign,” Portnoy wrote. “And yet these idiots who work there keep playing the role of victim. It’s like they honestly don’t get that Deadspin is a for-profit site yet.”
Deadspin’s union issued a statement, saying the resignations was because CEO Jim Spanfeller “worked to undermine the site.”
G/O Media issued the following statement to The Daily Beast: “They resigned and we're sorry that they couldn't work within this incredibly broad coverage mandate. We're excited about Deadspin's future and we'll have some important updates in the coming days."
As for Portnoy, it doesn’t appear that the outspoken Barstool boss will let up anytime soon.
“Listen I know I should be tired of celebrating the demise of Deadspin, but guess what? I’m not. I’m still truly having fun watching their company implode,” Portnoy wrote.
G/O Media did not immediately respond when asked for additional comment regarding Barstool’s reaction.
Fox News’ Joseph A. Wulfsohn contributed to this report.