Tommy Craggs, Max Read resign from Gawker

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, 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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Anonymous Adgrunt's picture
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Idiocracy's picture

What i find quite hilarious albeit in an ironic fashion, is that Gawker who has consistently shit on advertising and brands, despite the money they receive from ad revenue, is now Very Seriously™ worried about its own brand.

Dabitch's picture

It's also interesting how differently the editors & writers perceive the brand so differently from the founder & board.


"Mr. Denton tried to put a bow on the situation, arguing that the site's writers will have to get used to publishing not only truths but truths that are interesting and worthwhile. "

I wonder what part of Hulk Hogans sextape was "interesting and worthwhile"?

Ralph J.'s picture

“People immediately started questioning why ad sales was exerting editorial control,” one writer said. “So Nick decided the vote was actually just a fun approval vote and that he was the sole decider.”

Because ad sales, not the audience who used to BUY your magazines or newspapers, is now the only thing that pays your salary.

Dabitch's picture

At this point, the trainwreck is so spectacular, it feels like it's a Hollywood screenplay (and I bet it brings eyeballs).
Gawker's features editor, Leah Finnegan, live tweeted her commentary on a meeting between the staff and management. Examples: "Complete horseshit" , " 'garble garble garble' -nick" and the final "this has been gawker all-hands meeting livetweets. please DM me for resume."

^The above twitter feed should be her resumé. Who wants to hire someone who sarcastically livetweets commentary on an all hands on deck company meeting?

Ralph J.'s picture


Dabitch's picture

"This was just how the media industry worked, Denton said, and if Gawker writers did not realize that, it was only because he had gone out of his way to insulate them from advertiser pressure.
"There are dirty deals being done all over the place," he said. "Your attitude, your naïveté when it comes to that and then outrage when you discover that actually that’s how the world works, it’s sort of natural and it’s sort of a function of where we are as a company."