Eat The Press


Dead Horse Media

Elizabeth Spiers annouced today that she will be leaving Dead Horse Media, LLC, the blog company she founded last year with angel investor funding from Justin Smith, president of The Week, and Carter Burden, president and CEO of Logicworks. In an email to friends and colleagues this afternoon, Spiers cited "an insurmountable difference of opinion regarding long-term strategy" as the reason for her departure. Explained Spiers: "I would like to do some projects that are materially riskier and more experimental than Dead Horse's existing properties", which include Fashionista, the fashion blog she founded early this year, law blog AboveTheLaw, Dealbreaker, DMH's inaugural blog, which covers Wall Street, and Supermogul, a C-level executive blog which Dealbreaker acquired earlier today (in an innovative M&A move that appears to defy all corporate logic). Asked what sort of projects she had hoped to pursue before parting ways with DHM, Spiers responded (in any admittedly vague way): "One project was an online magazine - a sort of Maxim for women, and the other was a news-oriented site with a heavy tech component. If I decide to do either or both of those projects independently, it might make sense to find a corporate partner instead of building corporate infrastructure from scratch again. But I haven't done the math yet, so we'll see." Spiers is unclear on who will succeed her or what her future role, if any, will be in DHM, which she claims to be leaving under amicable circumstances "after a lot of trying to make things work in spite of creative differences". She laughed off the suggestion that her departure had anything to do with her eviscerating review of the inaugural issue of Portfolio (which Conde Nast lauched to much fanfare — and criticism — earlier this week): "Well, I did want to do one last post on Dealbreaker that would be memorable, if only to me. But otherwise, the only impetus for the post was Portfolio's insistence on putting out a mediocre first issue. I wasn't trying to kick them on my way out the door. Not consciously, anyway".

Spiers, famously, got her start as the founding editor of Gawker. After a subsequent stint at New York Magazine, Spiers moved on to serve as editor-in-chief of Mediabistro. There, she created a stable of media-blogs* with the same eye for niche markets that she would later put to use with DHM. ETP looks forward to her next venture.

Update: Not surprisingly, Spiers' surprise exit from DHM has caused ripples in the blogosphere and biz/tech press, though we're not sure how Wired came to these conclusions based on no sourcing other than Spiers' email (not to mention forgetting that Spiers started out in the business world). The item also notes that Dealbreaker failed to garner much attention, which is totally true — just ask Solengo! Hmm. Perhaps they have something against Wetumpka.

*Requisite disclosure: ETP editor Rachel Sklar got her start in the blogosphere at FishbowlNY under Spiers.

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