Gawker Editors Quit Over Controversial Story

Gawker Editors Quit Over Controversial Story
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Gawker’s executive editor Tommy Craggs (left) and editor-in-chief Max Read (right) have resigned from their positions over the last week’s controversial blog post.

As B&T reported the online blog posted a story which outed the chief financial officer of media group Conde Nast, David Geithner, who was allegedly texting a male escort.

Geithner is married with children and denied the allegations to Gawker. The article’s webpage currently says the post has been removed.

In response to the post’s removal, top editors Max Read and Tommy Craggs have resigned from the website. Read and Craggs stated that the decision to remove the post threatens Gawker’s editorial independence and journalistic integrity.

In a memo to editorial staff, Craggs explained his decision to step down, including that he wasn’t informed of the managing board vote: “The article … had become radioactive,” he said. “Advertisers such as Discover and BFGoodrich were either putting holds on their campaigns or pulling out entirely.

“The impulse that led to Thursday’s story is the impulse upon which Nick (Gawker’s founder) himself built Gawker’s brand, the impulse against which Gorenstein sells his ads. The undoing of it began the moment Nick himself put the once inviolable sanctity of Gawker Media’s editorial to a vote.”

Max Read offered a similar reason for his resignation, stating in a memo to the partnership group: “That non-editorial business executives were given a vote in the decision to remove it is an unacceptable and unprecedented breach of the editorial firewall, and turns Gawker’s claim to be the world’s largest independent media company into, essentially, a joke.

“I am able to do this job to the extent that I can believe that the people in charge are able, when faced with difficult decisions, to back up their stated commitments to transparency, fearlessness, and editorial independence.

“In the wake of Friday’s decision and Tommy’s resignation I can no longer sustain that belief. I find myself forced to resign, effective immediately.”

Read has tweeted:

Read the two memos here.

Photo credit: Capital New York

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