G/O Media, the parent company of Kotaku, Deadspin, and other Gizmodo Media Group properties, is reportedly facing a mass exodus, with a Kotaku editor stating that most of Deadspin’s staff have resigned in the wake of recent controversies.
Yesterday, various GMG websites posted articles encouraging readers to submit complaints to G/O Media’s owners regarding their increasingly pervasive ads. After doing so, the articles were promptly removed, with those involved claiming that G/O Media had pulled the posts from the sites. This resulted in an online backlash, which also saw Deadspin Deputy Editor Barry Petchesky revealing that he had been fired.
Following this news, the GMG Union tweeted that the decision “will not stand” with its members. Now it seems that the majority of Deadspin’s staff have responded by leaving the site.
Kotaku’s News Editor Jason Schreier revealed Deadspin’s mass exodus in a tweet:
Most of the staff just resigned
— Jason Schreier (@jasonschreier) October 30, 2019
In response to Deadspin’s walkout, GMG Union posted the following:
A statement about the resignations at Deadspin. pic.twitter.com/NrUmtHzZbq
— GMG Union (@gmgunion) October 30, 2019
According to The Daily Beast’s Max Tani, a G/O Media spokesperson pointed to Deadspin not being able to work within an “incredibly broad coverage mandate”:
G/O spokesperson on Deadspin resignations: "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."
— Max Tani (@maxwelltani) October 30, 2019
Deadspin has been involved in a high-profile dispute with G/O Media for months. Previously, the site pushed back against a memo from its owners which reportedly asked them to “stick to sports,” despite it having amassed a wide following as a result of its political and cultural commentary.
The resignations thus far seem limited to Deadspin, with no word on any similar path being followed by Kotaku’s staff. However, its editor-in-chief and many of its staff have changed their Twitter photos to display the GMG Union logo, in solidarity with Deadspin and the wider issues currently facing their network of sites.
“I’m heartbroken over what’s happened to Deadspin,” Kotaku Editor-in-Chief Stephen Totilo tweeted. “A lot of amazing people are leaving a brilliant site. It should never have come to this. It’s been an honor and thrill to work with that team and to have briefly joined with them to sort of stick to esports. I’ll miss all of you.”