Jim “The Herb” Spanfeller has been busy these last few months: allegedly not washing his hands, alienating his best friend, alienating readers with even more annoying ads, and driving some of the best NY-based talent out of the company. Again.
In the last seven days, multiple senior writers and editorial staff have exited G/O Media’s flagship publications; the latest of which, Beth Elderkin, had words for the green-obsessed geezer. But she wasn’t alone: Nathan Grayson, Kotaku’s senior writer and digital culture beat reporter, left the company. Just weeks ago, Riley MacLeod, editor at Kotaku, left. It’s easier to list who no longer works at G/O Media than it is to list who does.
Jim Spanfeller has been coasting off the success of filling Forbes.com with poorly-paid freelancers for a decade – a playbook he later brought to Tribune Corp, and attempted again with his purchase of G/O Media. But it looks like his luck has ran out.
Former G/O media staff successfully launched two publications in the last year - Defector.com, a subscription-based sports news site, and Discourse dot Blog(no relation to Discourse the forum software), a politics blog with a Bernie-aint-enough bent. And then there’s the gaming podcast, Triple Click.
Time is a flat circle; years ago, G/O media’s founder, Nick Denton, drove out his staff, who then launched a tech site that now overshadows Denton’s creation.
What has happened before will happen again, but faster and faster, as beancounters try to hyperaccelerate their stripmining of money from the people who create.