Disaster Deadspin editor rants against owners before quitting, saying they refused to give her editorial independence and that she should “stick to sports” - function advise_unemployed_journalist (name) { console.log("LEARN"); console.log("TO"); console.log("CODE, " + name + "."); }

Glad I couldn't help

Deadspin Editor Quits, Rails Against Bosses: ‘I’ve Been Repeatedly Lied To and Gaslit’
The new bosses in charge of what used to be the Gawker network of websites have drastically upended the culture, Greenwell said, leaving her no choice but to resign.

Maxwell Tani

Updated 08.16.19 5:52PM ET / Published 08.16.19 4:00PM ET

Deadspin’s editor in chief has left the company, saying the new leadership of parent company G/O Media have made it “impossible” for her to continue working there.

“I have been repeatedly undermined, lied to, and gaslit in my job,” Megan Greenwell said in a brief phone call with The Daily Beast on Friday.

G/O Media was formed earlier this year when Gizmodo Media Group, the former Gawker Media company that included sites including Deadspin, Gizmodo, and Jezebel, among others, was purchased from Univision by private equity firm Great Hill. As The Daily Beast previously reported, G/O’s new leadership have occasionally clashed with some of the company’s famously independent and outspoken editorial staff.

Greenwell said Friday that she feels “heartbroken” about leaving and that, while she does not want to be seen as a victim, recent decisions by company brass left her with few options.

Among the many grievances, Greenwell said, G/O leadership refused to guarantee editorial independence for Deadspin and asked for the site to “stick to sports”—a long-running source of frustration for a staff that also covers media, politics, and culture beyond sports.

“That's not something I feel I can ethically do,” the departing editor said.

In a statement to The Daily Beast, G/O Media editorial director Paul Maidment said, “We are laser focused on serving Deadspin readers sports and everything related to sports. Our former editor had a different vision and we wish her well in her future endeavors.”

Also contributing to Greenwell’s exit was an email CEO Jim Spanfeller sent in July to the entire staff criticizing a then-impending story, published earlier this month by Deadspin, highlighting how new leadership has operated since taking charge.

In the email, Spanfeller said he was “greatly concerned about the objectivity and core intentions of this piece,” and questioned the editorial standards of Deadspin’s editors. The CEO alleged that the piece was pre-written with its conclusions and that any responses he may have would be “mere window dressing.” While he did not specifically name any individuals, Spanfeller singled out both the Deadspin reporter and editor-in-chief.

“I’m making the gamble that Deadspin will be better off once the team leader is someone the leader of the company wouldn’t feel the need to smear in front of 400 people,” Greenwell said.

After Spanfeller’s email, Greenwell said she asked Maidment, in his capacity as the company’s new editorial director, to send a staff-wide email affirming his support for the newsroom but he never did.

Greenwell said that, following the report’s publication, she was repeatedly asked to “commit to G/O and its management.” When she inquired as to what that entailed, Greenwell said, she was never given a direct answer, nor would the company guarantee she and her team would not be punished for its reporting on company brass.

“I tried over the course of a week to get somebody to say there will be no retribution from this, your team will continue to have the independence that it has done so well with,” she said. “When I was unable to over a period of many days, I decided that that was putting the team at too big of a risk to not leave.”

Greenwell also took issue with a widely mocked reader survey that Spanfeller ordered up despite objections from the editor. The survey, posted on Deadspin last month, asked readers what they liked and disliked about the site and its writers. Staffers said the slightly leading questions mirrored the negative sentiments company leaders already felt about Deadspin.

“The whole thing around the survey was deeply fucked and seemed pretty clearly designed to instruct me and my team about what we could and could not write about,” she said. “None of us obviously had any intention of using the results that way, but the fact that the survey was slapped on my site over my and other people's objections was something pretty special.”

Greenwell’s departure comes as the network of former Gawker websites undergo cultural changes at the behest of G/O leadership. On Thursday, for example, the company released a draft of a new staff handbook with stricter new rules, alarming some staff members. It’s unclear whether the handbook contradicts the company’s existing editorial union contract.

The G/O handbook declares that the company can search employees’ “personal vehicles, parcels, purses, handbags, backpacks, briefcases, lunch boxes,” review all electronic communications made on company property, and disclose those messages to others if the company deems it appropriate. The new rules also strangely allow the company to access reporters’ “tweets” and bars employees from using encrypted email programs—a common tool journalists often use to protect highly confidential sources.

Perhaps most bizarrely, the handbook also establishes an attendance policy and a dress code. Employees must arrive between 9:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m., according to the handbook, and are required to wear “smart casual” attire. “Offensive” logos or “sweatpants, exercise pants, Bermuda shorts, short shorts, biker shorts, Mini-skirts, beach dresses, midriff tops, and halter tops” are all banned.

“New York G/O Media employees were emailed a draft of an employee handbook last night,” the GMG Union said in a statement. “Many of the policies in that handbook contradict our union contract and do not apply for that reason. Other policies suggested in the handbook—such as the false idea that we would stop using secure messaging services—are incompatible with our work. These policies are not in force and should not be taken as the policies of our sites.”

In the months since taking over, G/O Media has also not been afraid to drastically change how the former Gawker websites look and feel. The company has clogged the mobile versions of its sites with display ads, suggested brand-new website taglines, and on several occasionsseemed to suggest shaping coverage in a way that benefits potential ad buyers (site leaders said they dismissed such requests, and G/O bosses have not interfered in coverage about other companies).

But despite the internal turmoil and Greenwell’s exit, the company has recently garnered positive attention: Deadspin was nominated for its first national magazine award earlier this year and, according to Comscore data, it reached 17 million unique visitors in June—a record for the site.

- End of Article -​

Everbody here seems kind of exceptional. "Being gaslit" seems like its head towards being a meme, watered down to mean any uncomfortable situation a person (often a young woman) is placed in. The editor of sport website being told to "stick to sports" and getting angry about seems utter dumb to me. Having said, the new handbook is also nuts, with its arbitrary searches, banning email encryption, etc.

nagant 1895

Boss: What's the sport section of our digital media group working on?
Editor: We r workin on a draft for why BRONALD BRUMF is makin it so thers no Wymin in coledge football
Boss: I see... You know the MLB is having some big games right now?
Editor: OMG are you gaslighting me? R my feelingz not valid 2 u? Am I suppost to just right about sports or whatever? That is hypermasculine agressions agsint me1. I Quite.

Arctic Fox

Does it have to be so cold?
These people should all have been fired. They're a bunch of spoiled millennial twats who, I'm gonna take a guess since I haven't read the site, bitch about things like gamergate and nazis. It's good they're getting a kick in the ass.
The social media restrictions aren't surprising, nor the no encrypting emails rules. The way so many 'journalists' have been fucking around and acting stupid the last few years makes these rules necessary. Journalism is a business. These idiots don't get that.


Smartest monkey on the spinning space rock
This writer looks like a Carlos Maza that is taking testosterone. Gross.

I used to like to read Deadspin before they got woke. The pre-Kinja comment section was top notch for snark and debate.

But just like with ESPN, I'll never go back. You can't de-Michelle Beadle, Jemele Hill, Keith Olbermann (and whatever nobodies work at Deadspin) those places. Once the rot sets in, the host dies.

Save the Loli

how is this 'most bizarre' in any way?
"show up to work on time and wear presentable clothes" is the most basic shit ever, even fry cooks at mcdonalds manage to do it!
It's bizarre in that showing up to work on time is racist and that a dress code is a form of oppressive cisheteropatriarchal fascism and everyone should be amazed shit like that exists in the woke current year outside of the wasteland ghoul Drumpf voting parts of the country.


Is it Morning Yet?
how is this 'most bizarre' in any way?
"show up to work on time and wear presentable clothes" is the most basic shit ever, even fry cooks at mcdonalds manage to do it!
Agreed, this lady is basically saying:

General Professional Office Standards 101 are now oppressive and leave me literally shaking, it's all a plot by the patriarchy!

The ISO-9000 Millennial Office where you can write on the walls, wear a Harry Potter cosplay to work and the "open office" floorplan means there are beanbag chairs in front of a pile of iMacs in the middle of the room is probably why most of these people have no idea what "normal" is and why being treated the same way everyone else is is seen as such a human rights violation.

Though I'd balk at the "we have a right to search your car" part too.... I don't even know if that's legal. But that fact it's not the dwelled on condition, the fact you can't wear halter tops and have to be there 9 - 5 is the "Most bizarre" part of it, shows you how useless these clickbait farmers are at just about everything.

Their priorities are geared towards looking good to each other, not actually getting shit done.
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Is it Morning Yet?
I've just honestly never known of a place that had it so blatantly written into the rules, I've worked plenty of places that told me that they could search my workstation/locker at any time, or didn't have to warn me because I didn't own any of the assets I was using (company vehicle, company toolboxes, etc) but nobody ever demanded access to my car, nor would they get it, I'd quit before I'd sign that... but that's just me.


Neither Rich nor Evans
how is this 'most bizarre' in any way?
"show up to work on time and wear presentable clothes" is the most basic shit ever, even fry cooks at mcdonalds manage to do it!
yeah for some reason disposable journos think they get to come into work in stained sweatpants and mlp shirts like the compsci autists
hint, you gotta make yourself useful before your autism gets tolerated

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