Gawker Executive Editor Tommy Craggs, Editor-in-Chief Max Read Resign

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Courtesy of Gawker

Tommy Craggs, the executive editor of Gawker Media, and Max Read, the editor-in-chief of Gawker.com, are resigning amid controversy surrounding an article the site posted then unpublished about Condé Nast’s CFO soliciting a gay porn star.

“This was not an easy decision. I hope the partnership group recognizes the degree to which it has betrayed the trust of editorial, and takes steps to materially reinforce its independence,” Read wrote in a memo posted on Gawker Monday.

It’s unclear who will fill the vacant positions.

The website published the contentious story on Thursday evening then took it down the following day after coming under fire from all fronts.

The founder of Gawker, Nick Denton, said that the managing partners of the company voted 4 to 2 to remove the story.

“Gawker is no longer the insolent blog that began in 2003. It does important and interesting journalism about politicians, celebrities and other major public figures,” Denton wrote. “It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement.”

Denton sent a second memo to editorial staff on Monday morning standing by his decision as “guardian of the company mission.”

“That post wasn’t what Gawker should stand for, and it is symptomatic of a site that has been out of control of editorial management,” he wrote. “Our flagship site carries the same name as the company, and the reputation of the entire company rests on its work. When Gawker itself is seen as sneering and callous, it affects all of us.”

Read said his decision to quit was in protest of the “process by which” the managing partnership removed the story without the editorial staff’s consent.

“If the partnership had not conducted some kind of utterly opaque backroom vote to delete it — if we had simply posted Nick’s note, as much I disagreed with and disliked it — I think this Monday would be very different,” he said.

Craggs said in his memo that Denton forgot that the writers are the company. “You are, you will always be, the best argument for a company that no longer deserves you,” he told the editorial staff.

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

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  1. Mi says:

    I can’t wait when all trashy,lying and the hate spewing tabs/webloids will disapear.

  2. elizabeth says:

    The name Gawker sez it all, but not to worry, they can all go over to RadarOnLine, Enquirer, TMZ where they will fit in nicely, and take the author Sargent with them. Why should he escape the axe?

  3. atomicspike says:

    Learn to pick your battles, boys. There’s no journalistic integrity involved with the publishing of that story (or the website, to be honest) and to act like that’s the reason you’re quitting is absolutely laughable. What a bunch of delusional blowhards.

  4. Good, but they and Jordan Sargent who wrote the piece should all have been fired immediately.

    That wasn’t journalism, that was a tabloid outing of a person of no importance with no public face, and they became party to blackmail on top of everything else.

    Lawsuits should follow.

  5. Jim Ponsoldt says:

    it’s hard to sympathize with the “principle” which caused these resignations. but it would be nice if gawker media defined the line which the article crossed.

  6. Steve O says:

    “inviolable sanctity of Gawker Media’s editorial”… I think he means “oblivious sanctimoniousness”.

  7. mcflyer54 says:

    Resigned? Both deserved to be fired. The story wasn’t news but a sleazy backdoor attack on a competitor via an employee.

  8. breeves2000 says:

    “When Gawker itself is seen as sneering and callous, it affects all of us.” – *sigh. You must be new here.

  9. Petra says:

    They are both garbage.

  10. Stanley O says:

    Gawker is a disgusting, vile rag. They trade in trash and delight in destroying people’s lives. Hope they get what they deserve. Karma.

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