R.I.P. Deadline Detroit

The digital publication announced it’s ending in September after more than a decade

click to enlarge Digital outlet Deadline Detroit will soon be no more. - Courtesy of Deadline Detroit
Courtesy of Deadline Detroit
Digital outlet Deadline Detroit will soon be no more.

After more than 10 years of “Real News, Irreverent Views,” local digital publication Deadline Detroit is ending on Sept. 5.

That’s according to a Wednesday post announcing the end of Deadline Detroit by co-founder Allan Lengel.

“Sadly, after celebrating Deadline Detroit’s 10-year anniversary in April, I’ve simply run out of juice, the 24/7 grind of overseeing an online publication with few vacations has taken a toll,” Lengell wrote. “The decision is difficult, particularly since generous friends just committed to providing much needed additional funding. After much thought, I chose to pass on those funds.”

Lengell co-founded the website after an 11-year career at The Washington Post, alongside Bill McGraw, a 32-year veteran of the Detroit Free Press. While it seemed to operate throughout the years primarily as an SEO-driven aggregator of other outlets’ work, typically posted without author bylines, it also featured in-depth reporting, including a sprawling story on problems with the Detroit Police Department by former Metro Times staff writer Violet Ikonomova, and a look into the phenomenon of the annoying Dodge Charger by Nancy Derringer. The outlet’s investigation into claims of sexual harassment against longtime Metro Times columnist Jack Lessenberry resulted in his resignation.

The publication was perhaps best known in recent years for running a column by former New York Times reporter Charlie LeDuff during the period of time between him quitting his television gig at WJBK Fox 2 Detroit and before he had recently been re-hired as columnist at The Detroit News.

It seemed to be no love lost among LeDuff’s former Deadline Detroit colleagues, with contributing editor Alan Stamm calling LeDuff a “a loose-with-facts blowhard” on Twitter shortly after the move. “If the DN doesn’t have buyers remorse yet, it should,” Derringer said.

Deadline Detroit was bankrolled by Compuware co-founder and current MadDog Technology CEO Peter Karmanos Jr., a Trump supporter who Lengell thanked for giving the Deadline Detroit team editorial freedom.

Last month, Lengell said Deadline Detroit ended up with a $10,000 legal bill after it was sued for defamation by a Birmingham man who was fired from his job as a tennis coach for doing a Nazi salute at a school board meeting to protest COVID-19 mask mandates, a story it aggregated from Metro Times. (MT was also sued; a judge dismissed both lawsuits as “unactionable,” or frivolous.)

Aspects of the Deadline Detroit site will still continue, Lengell said, including its weekly talk show “The Week That Was.”

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About The Author

Lee DeVito

Leyland "Lee" DeVito grew up in the suburbs of Detroit, where he read Metro Times religiously due to teenaged-induced boredom. He became a contributing writer for Metro Times in 2009, and Editor in Chief in 2016. In addition to writing, he also supplies occasional illustrations. His writing has been published...
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