This is the 'buyout deal' Gawker employees are quitting in droves to take


Gawker Nick Denton at Ignition

Business Insider

Gawker Media is in the midst of a quasi-rebrand and a major culture clash within its newsroom. And with new direction inevitably comes inner tumult.


Now staffers who are unhappy at Gawker are being offered a "buyout deal" of sorts to leave the company on a semi-amicable note.

The exodus of Gawker reporters and executives began last week when the company ran a controversial story about the CFO of media rival Conde Nast. The article essentially outed the media executive, who is married with children, for allegedly soliciting services from a male escort.

After receiving a lot of backlash for running the seemingly-tasteless article, Gawker CEO Nick Denton decided to spike the post altogether and delete it from the web. His decision created a rift within Gawker and escalated into an all-out, editorial ideological brouhaha.

Some editors and writers claimed Denton's decision to axe the article was based on business necessities, and infringed on their editorial freedom.


Gawker writers began publicly voicing their concern about what this decision meant. Denton doubled down, and ultimately said that this decision was an inflection point; Gawker this week would essentially reboot, and aim to be "20 percent nicer."

For those who didn't wish to be part of this new chapter, Denton offered a severance package.

Here's what's included with this severance deal:

  • Writers will be paid two months' salary along with benefits, Capital New York reports.
  • The payments, wrote Gawker president Heather Dietrich in a memo to employees, are "contingent on signing a standard release."
  • No stock is involved with the package. An anonymous source familiar with the offer tells Business Insider it's a "pure cash deal."

Thus far seven writers have publicly accepted Denton's severance package. The first two were executive editor Tommy Craggs and editor in chief Max Read. The rest are editors William Arkin, Leah Finnegan, and Caity Weaver, and writers Dayna Evans and Sultana Khan. More Gawker writers appear to be heavily weighing the decision.

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