Gawker.com cuts staff as site focuses on politics
Staffers at Gawker.com are being laid off as part of a reorientation toward politics coverage, a remaking of the site instituted by newly named Editor-in-Chief Alex Pareene, multiple outlets reported Tuesday.
Seven staffers throughout Gawker Media will lose their jobs in the culling, but six jobs will be added, according to a report by Ravi Somaiya of The New York Times:
The company will now focus on its seven core sites, which include the technology site Gizmodo and the sports site Deadspin, and close smaller offshoots like Defamer, a Hollywood site.
Today's cuts are the second wave of staff reductions to hit Gawker in recent months. This summer, after an editorial schism caused by a decision to unpublish a controversial post, Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton offered buyouts to employees dissatisfied with the direction of the site. Two of the newsroom's top bosses, Gawker Media Executive Editor Tommy Craggs and Gawker.com Editor-in-Chief Max Read, left the company in the wake of the incident.
The layoffs come as Gawker Media's new executive editor, John Cook, is working to "sharpen all the sites" under the Gawker Media umbrella going into the new year, according to a memo from Cook obtained by The Awl's John Herrman:
The shift in focus will necessarily mean that certain kinds of stories that Gawker has trafficked in in the past will go by the wayside, and we can’t reshape the site’s focus without shifting personnel. Unfortunately, Jay Hathaway, Jason Parham, Kelly Conaboy, and Taylor Berman, all of whom have been valuable assets in previous iterations of Gawker, will be leaving.
Staffers at Gawker.com found out who was getting laid off by monitoring which Slack accounts were being disabled, according to an anonymous source quoted by The Awl.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated 10 Gawker Media staffers are being laid off. In fact, seven are losing their jobs and six positions will be added.