Elizabeth Spiers Leaves Dead Horse Media

Posted by: Jon Fine on April 19, 2007

Elizabeth Spiers is leaving Dead Horse Media, the blog network she co-founded last year. Dead Horse runs the niche sites DealBreaker, AboveTheLaw, and Fashionista.

“I want to do more sites, some of which are experimental (and not blog-related) and [Dead Horse’s investors] want to just focus on improving and expanding DealBreaker, Fashionista and AboveTheLaw,” wrote Spiers in response to an email inquiry. “ It’s a reasonable position, but not one I agree with.” Spiers had essentially left the company entirely as of today.

Dead Horse also ran Supermogul.com, but that site is on hiatus as the company mulls its future. Typing in its address now directs Web surfers to DealBreaker, and the former editor of Supermogul will now work for DealBreaker.

Spiers, a native of Wetumpka, Al., is well-known in Manhattan media circles. She was the founding editor of Gawker.com, and as such did much to codify the style and sensibility of a certain kind of blog. (A sensibility that may be traced back to old-media forebears like Spy magazine, it’s true, but one that’s nonetheless proved quite influential.)She also was editor in chief of mediabistro.com, the CEO and majority owner of which—full disclosure—is my wife Laurel Touby.

Spiers, who also had a stint at New York magazine, started Dead Horse in early 2006.

Justin Smith, an investor in Dead Horse and President of Dennis Publishing’s The Week, declined to comment.

UPDATE 4/20: Mediabistro’s Dylan Stableford (see previous disclosure) wisely points out that a recent lawsuit against DealBreaker might have had something to do with all this.

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Reader Comments

querelous

April 19, 2007 05:34 PM

Jon, will you be addressing the fact that these sites have not been particularly successful by any measure?

Or is it "niche media" where every flop can be spun?

AAA

April 19, 2007 05:39 PM

funny - you look just like jon friedman or whatever the guy's name is at cbs marketwatch. and you are just as self-obsessed and unoriginal as my post.

Ron Mwangaguhunga

April 19, 2007 09:21 PM

Have blogs jumped the shark yet?

bob

April 19, 2007 10:37 PM

>funny - you look just like jon friedman or whatever the guy's name is at cbs marketwatch. and you are just as self-obsessed and unoriginal as my post.

Huh? This started as a juvenile anonymous insult, but then fell into nonsense at the end.

Chris

April 20, 2007 01:51 PM

Where the heck is Wetumpka? Jon, you rascal--you made that up, didn't you! Nobody in Wethumptka blogs anymore...

Jon Fine

April 20, 2007 03:30 PM

Chris:

Not that I would know from firsthand experience, but Wetumpka indeed exists:

http://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en&tab=wl&q=

Jon

Stevie

April 22, 2007 07:38 PM

Ms. Spiers referenced the lawsuit in a comment on Gawker. So I suspect that had something to do with it. She's also been speaking in the last few months at conferences (like PSFK) about issues with advertisers 'not getting' the sites given the content so it sounded like they'd lost sponsors. I recall seeing somewhere that Bloomberg pulled out, and most of their ads when I've visited the sites recently have been of other DHM blogs. So ad dollars were probably not what they had hoped. A look at Alexa shows that the trends for Dealbreaker have been down, and I'm guessing disappointing. SuperMogul never even registered a blip on the Alexa radar. Hard to tell what traffic has been though because unlike Gawker, which shows you their SiteMeter numbers, the DHM properties didn't share theirs.

Additionally, there are a number of new financial blogs. Wonder if they've also been taking their toll on traffic.

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The media, entertainment and marketing worlds continue to shapeshift on a near-daily basis, as new forms arise and old assumptions erode. Where is it all going? No one really knows. But on this blog BusinessWeek’s media writers Tom Lowry and Ron Grover promise to provide ample helpings of scoop, provocation, and sharp analysis as they track and annotate this constantly changing terrain.

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