G/O Media - aka Zombie Gawker - Strikes Back At New Owner

That which is dead may never die.

In an ironic twist of fate, the entity once known as Gawker Media (then Gizmodo Media Group, then Fusion.NET, then Fusion, then Splinter, then The Onion Group, now renamed G/O Media) is now owned by a vulture capitalist firm: Great Hills Partners.

GH immediately took the axe to the company, sacking forty employees and installing drunken dinosaur and adversarial adman Jim Spanfeller as supreme dictator. Who immediately went to work making the websites shittier (“quadruple the ads per page!”) and tried to sell out what integrity was left by offering “native content” to advertisers.

Staff revolted.

Currently staff are preparing to work-to-rule as tensions escalate. After the move to a “new”, cockroach-infested and mysteriously stained office in Times Square, the employees are at the tipping point.



Seeing all of those name changes line up back-to-back reminds me of a scene from The Wire.

The gist:

If you have an inferior product in an aggressive marketplace, you have to buy up the competition.

If you don’t have the market share to buy up the competition, you have to reduce your price and increase market share.

If your overhead is too high to reduce prices… you change your name, to try to get people to stop associating your name with the idea of an inferior product.

A neat caveat on that as it pertains to Zombie Gawker is that, while the name of the umbrella corporation keeps changing, the names of the actual sites (besides Gawker itself) haven’t. Which indicates that, while readers still associate the product with a measure of quality, the company has become (consistently and repeatedly) unpalatable to investors. Thus, the name keeps changing.


deflation of morale.

There was any morale left by this point?


There’s deflation in the sense of “opening the valves and letting the pressure out of the mattress,” there’s deflation of the kind “pressing down on the mattress in order to flatten it,” and then there’s deflation where you “roll the mattress up to take up the minimum amount of space and to squeeze the very last bits of air out.”


Quite the apt metaphor. I shall remember it for future occasions.