Time and time again, Gawker has proven to be the antithesis of integrity. So it's a bit ironic the media company known for sick jokes, trolling brands with Nazi jokes ruining the lives of whoever they want because they can, now has two people attempting to take the high road over what they call "editorial integrity." Tommy Craggs, executive editor of Gawker Media, and Max Read, editor-in-chief of Gawker.com, are resigning from Gawker---because Gawker voted to pull the story allegedly outing a straight married man who works for Condé Nast who attempted to solicit sex from a gay escort. Not because of the content of the story was published to begin with, mind you. Not because the man in question is arguably not a public figure at all. But because it was taken down. A point that is rendered moot considering the damage has already been done.
The people who voted to remove the post were the members of the managerial board. CEO Nick Denton, CCO Scott Kidder, Erin Pettigrew who is Chief Strategy officer and most importantly, Andrew Gorenstein, president of advertising and partnerships. Warped versions of taking the high road aside, Gawker needs money to survive, especially in the continuing wake of the Hulk Hogan lawsuit.
Denton, who wrote his non-apology apology after pulling the Condé Nast story has already said a win for Hogan would ruin Gawker financially. For a long while, and with one or two exceptions, most advertisers haven't paid attention. But now that the public outcry over Gawker's maliciousness has become a deafening roar, advertisers are looking at the situation differently. Sure took them long enough. According to the Guardian, "the post was described by some critics as a form of blackmail and widely condemned in the media. At least one advertiser put ads on hold in protest."
In a memo to the company, Read wrote, "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."
Perverted view of morality aside, it's no longer possible for Gawker to sustain that stance, either. When you sink that far to the bottom, your bottom line also sinks. Denton & Co have to worry about that.
If you're a brand's CCO, a brand managers, or work in media placement, it's long past time you asked yourself this question: Are your dollars really worth spending on a noxious two-headed snake that is eating itself? And how much is it worth getting your ads in front other Gawkers as opposed to targeting your ads toward consumers? Consumers, who is has become clear, are tired of Gawker's behavior? Surely there are greener, less radioactive pastures to move to. If you're smart, you'll do it now because you get infected, too.
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