Gawker Media launches video studio

Gawker Media, the hub for a family of sites including Gawker, Jezebel and Deadspin, has created a new video division, according to an internal announcement made Thursday.

The new video arm, which has been dubbed Gawker Video, aspires to be a "creative studio to develop ideas into visual form," according to the announcement. Staffers leading the effort will work with journalists throughout Gawker Media to create standalone videos, videos series' and evergreen content. The effort will shun "soulless video listicles," "explainers that look like glorified PowerPoints" and "smarmy clips."

The studio's inaugural effort, an animated explainer of the Game of Thrones, was published to YouTube on Wednesday and has accumulated more than 189,000 views.

The team currently comprises senior creative director Devin Clark, associate producer Nick Stango, video producer Chris Person and video producer Michael Hession. They plan to add five staffers soon and are hiring a production manager.

Several other Web-native news organizations, including BuzzFeed, the Huffington Post and Vox Media, have already developed video divisions that take advantage of the relatively high CPMs for video advertising.

In February, Gawker Media honcho Nick Denton told Re/code that the company was planning to double down on its video efforts in 2015.

Here's the memo:


Some of you may have heard some of this already, but here is the entire story: We have created a new Gawker Video group under Heather Dietrick’s new Publishing Services group.

This is our first video, product of the new workflow we have set up:

I hope you like it. If you are a Game of Thrones fan (or just a Gawker Media fan!) please share it with your friends.

As you know, other internet media companies have been working on the video space for some years now, funneling massive VC money into very large operations. We are an independent media company, so we waited to know if we could make money before investing in a strong video plan. Meanwhile, we learned from our competitors’ wins and mistakes. Now, the audience is there and the market is good—we are ready to move in and we have a plan.

I believe that the only strategy to get the audience we want is to make great video content. We don’t want tons of soulless video listicles, explainers that look like glorified PowerPoints, and smarmy clips. We want to create cool stuff that make all of us proud—good stories with unique angles, formats, and aesthetics. This work will lead to a Gawker visual style, the same way we have a Gawker voice in our publications (if you are interested, this is the quote that inspired this mission: )

I'm assembling a team of talented people to make this happen—a creative studio to develop ideas into visual form. That’s the key to our future success: To establish a strong creative and development process that will result in great stories with high production values. Gawker Video will not just be a video filming crew. We will work with you to develop and refine your ideas so we can make the most powerful visual stories. And we will bring our ideas to you too, to do exactly the same. Together we will make standalone hero pieces, series, evergreens—plus programs from the live events that James Del’s new Programming Group will be organizing in our new 5th Avenue space.

Devin Clark—as senior creative editor—Nick Stango, Chris Person, and Michael Hession—working embedded in Gizmodo—have joined the team. Five more people will join soon (we are looking hard for a killer production manager right now. If you know any, here’s the job offer:

I know that the road ahead is going to be very hard but it’s going to be a lot of fun too. We have a lot of cool plans and ideas to make it happen, some of them already in motion.

If you have any questions, comments, and (crazy) ideas, please don’t hesitate to contact me or stop by our #video slack.

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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