G/O Media

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G/O Media
PredecessorGizmodo Media Group
FoundedApril 8, 2019; 3 years ago (2019-04-08)
HeadquartersNew York, New York
Key people
Jim Spanfeller (CEO)
Subsidiaries
Websiteg-omedia.com

G/O Media Inc. is an American media holding company[1] that runs Gizmodo, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Jezebel, The Root, The A.V. Club, The Takeout, The Onion, and The Inventory. G/O was formed in April 2019 when Great Hill Partners, a private equity firm, purchased the websites from Univision for $20.6 million.[2] Prior to the sale, the former Gawker Media properties had operated as Gizmodo Media Group after being acquired by Univision following the conclusion of the Bollea v. Gawker lawsuit and subsequent bankruptcy in 2016.[3][4][5] Former Forbes executive Jim Spanfeller became the CEO of G/O Media.[6]

Conflict with leadership[edit]

G/O Media's leadership, introduced after the purchase from Univision, has been subject to frequent criticism by employees.[6] Complaints include closer advertiser relationships, a lack of diversity, and suppression of reporting about the company itself.[6] In October 2019 Deadspin's editor-in-chief, Barry Petchesky, was fired for refusing to adhere to a directive that the site "stick to sports."[7] Soon after, the entirety of Deadspin staff resigned in protest leaving the site inactive.[8] In January 2020 the GMG Union, which represents the staff of six G/O Media sites, announced a vote of no confidence in CEO Jim Spanfeller citing, among other issues, a lack of willingness to negotiate for "functional editorial independence protections."[9]

On February 4, 2021, the Writers Guild of America East filed a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board alleging that G/O Media had told employees that they had fired Alex Cranz for labor activism.[10]

In Mid-October 2021, G/O Media removed all images from the 11 websites it owns — such as Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Deadspin, The A.V. Club, The Onion, and Jezebel — without any announcement or notice.[11]

In November 2021 Gawker released an article detailing substantial staff resignations at Jezebel over the course of 2021 comprising around 75% of staff. Much of the reasoning behind this was placed at the feet of a "hostile work environment" created by G/O's management and the new deputy editorial director Lea Goldman.[12] This was followed by another article in January 2022 detailing similar staff decline at The Root, with 15 out of 16 full-time staff having left over the course of 2021 since the introduction of Vanessa De Luca as editor-in-chief.[13]

In January 2022, it emerged that seven senior staff at The A.V. Club were leaving the site after a management mandate requiring them to move from Chicago to Los Angeles. A lack of salary uplift to account for increased costs of living was cited as a main reason for leaving.[14]

On March 1, 2022, GMG Union members went on strike after failing to reach an agreement on a new contract.[15] The strike was resolved on March 6 with a proposed new contract including some of the members' terms.[16]

Acquisitions[edit]

In April 2022, it was announced that G/O Media had acquired the Quartz news brand.[17][18]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hayes, Dade (November 1, 2019). "Deadspin Loses Veteran Writer Drew Magary As Website's News Flow Runs Dry – Update". Deadline.
  2. ^ "Univision Communications Inc. and Subsidiaries 2019 Second Quarter Reporting Package" (PDF). Univision Communications Inc. - Financial Reports - Quarterly Reports. June 30, 2019.
  3. ^ DiNapoli, Jessica (August 17, 2016). "Univision to buy Gawker out of bankruptcy for $135 million". Reuters. Retrieved August 18, 2016.
  4. ^ Sinclair, Brendan (April 8, 2019). "Univision sells Gizmodo Media Group". GamesIndustry.biz. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  5. ^ Adams, Robert N. (April 8, 2019). "Gizmodo sold to Great Hill Partners, forming G/O Media". GameRevolution. Retrieved July 28, 2019.
  6. ^ a b c Tani, Maxwell (July 18, 2019). "Gizmodo Media Staff Enraged at New CEO's 'Insane' Direction". The Daily Beast.
  7. ^ Tracy, Marc (October 29, 2019). "Deadspin Editor Fired Amid Pushback Over 'Stick to Sports' Memo". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  8. ^ Robertson, Katie (November 1, 2019). "Deadspin's Last Staff Member Quits. But Deadspin Is Not Dead, the Boss Says". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  9. ^ "GMG Union votes no confidence in G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller". Awful Announcing. January 14, 2020. Retrieved February 2, 2020.
  10. ^ Eidelson, Josh (February 4, 2021). "G/O Media Told Staff Activism Got Editor Fired, Union Says". www.bloomberg.com. Bloomberg. Retrieved February 4, 2021.
  11. ^ Hitt, Tarpley (February 4, 2021). "Pictures Disappear En Masse from G/O Media Posts". www.gawker.com. Bustle Digital Group. Retrieved October 27, 2021.
  12. ^ "Inside the Turmoil at Jezebel". Gawker. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  13. ^ "What Happened at The Root?". Gawker. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  14. ^ Channick, Robert. "Top editorial staff leaving A.V. Club entertainment site after refusing to relocate from Chicago to new offices in LA". chicagotribune.com. Retrieved January 29, 2022.
  15. ^ Geier, Thom (March 1, 2022). "Jezebel, Gizmodo, The Root and Other G/O Media Writers Go on Strike". The Wrap. Retrieved March 1, 2022.
  16. ^ Fuster, Jeremy (March 6, 2022). "G/O Media, WGA East Agree to New Contract After 5-Day Strike". The Wrap. Retrieved March 7, 2022.
  17. ^ "G/O Media acquires Quartz". Flashes & Flames. April 28, 2022. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
  18. ^ Owen, Laura Hazard (April 29, 2022). ""An audible gasp": Quartz, once a high-flying startup, has sold to G/O Media". Nieman Journalism Lab. Retrieved May 12, 2022.

Further reading[edit]

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