Splinter News shuttered, boss tells staff not to write about it

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/10/11/splinter-news-shuttered-compa.html


It is sad to see what is happening over there. Talented writers and editors are being dropped into a hole by soulless idiots at the executive level. Hopefully they all come out the other side with better jobs working for non-tools.


Sad to say the whole lot will probably be gone in a few months. All the best writers have already left, the sites are pale, insubstantial shadows of what they were a few years ago, plus I hated the move to video content. It’s a great shame…I for one used to enjoyably waste a good deal of time with Lifehacker, Gizmodo and the rest. Lifehacker for one is so stupid as to be insulting now…and I only visit Gizmodo for io9/Toy Aisle.

The Internet is so crappy these days :frowning:


A shame that another media outlet is being shuttered. Splinter was really the last gasp of Gawker’s political coverage. They had some good staff writers, but that isn’t compatible with the new owners’ “disruptive vision”.

The new CEO, Jim Spanfeller, formerly was at Forbes and Playboy , prestigious media brands that have faded in recent years: Forbes began publishing anything pumped into its database by unpaid bloggers

Something similar is happening over at Sports Illustrated. Plus the sleazeball owners of that brand want the contract writers to incorporate as LLCs in order to make it more difficult for them to organise of demand benefits.

[Deadspin is a Gawker Media brand, by the way]


The new CEO, Jim Spanfeller, formerly was at Forbes and Playboy , prestigious media brands that have faded in recent years: Forbes began publishing anything pumped into its database by unpaid bloggers.

I had noticed the huge drop in Forbes quality, but hadn’t known the details. Its not quite SEO machine-generated content, but some of it gets close.

and Playboy has less readers than we do.

Damn. I only read BoingBoing for the articles. :smile:


I’m just here for the bananas.


Yes, having Splinter shut down without warning or acknowledgement is some weak sauce. Alienating the remaining loyal eyeballs/commentariat is just stupid business practice. I was a regular, and I’m pissed off at how I am being treated.


It completely debased the brand, to the point where I’m wary of providing links to the site. I’m not so worried about the machine-generated stuff as a I am about articles by various credentialed woo peddlers they publish.

I saw the writing on the wall and stopped commenting on those sites when Thiel succeeded in his pissy campaign to destroy Gawker Media.


(Are you “Ugh.” over there? Or do you have a doppelgänger?)

1 Like

Must be a doppelgänger. I’m only “Ugh” here.



Well, I like both of you.


It’s always so weird how things like this turn a profit until purchased by financial wizards.


Well this seems appropriate…


Somewhere, hooked up to a machine replacing his blood with that of 12 year old virgins while reading his dog-eared copy of Atlas Shrugged, Peter Thiel smiles.


Once it fully made its transition from NYC-centred news and gossip site to celebrity gossip site (with brief side-brand excursions to L.A. and Silicon Valley), the main Gawker vertical wasn’t all that great. It wasn’t deserving of being shut down due to the pique of a billionaire closet case who everyone knew was gay, but the few good writers were increasingly outbalanced by bad editors like AJ Daulerio who probably hoped to revive Gawker Stalker and who would have found a more suitable home at a tabloid like the National Inquirer.

Unfortunately, that attitude began to outweigh the site’s good aspects, like breaking the Rob Ford crack smoking story when more respectable papers wouldn’t touch it.

From a recent episode of Succession:

RHEA: Wow. A whole school for how to intern at a clickbait aggregator.

KENDALL: [snorts] Yeah… “10 Reasons Why You’re Never Getting Paid.”


AJ Daulerio was the worst. What a smug little train wreck of a person with a combination of bad ethics and a seething bitterness for anyone not AJ Daulerio. You would think it might be hard to find anyone less likable than Peter Thiel but he somehow rose to the occasion.


The old Gakwer had many seasons, some better than others. AJ was the sugar in the gas tank on his way out the door. Fuck him.


He’s Exhibit A to the fact that unlikable defendants can lead to terrible legal decisions. There’s a reason Thiel picked that case as his tool for revenge–he knew that Daulerio would receive almost no public sympathy, and his smarminess/stupidity would provide cover for Thiel’s strategy of warning any media outlet who would investigate him.

I wonder how many examples one could find on Twitter during that trial & appeal saying something to the effect of “it’s hard to have any sympathy for Gawker…” while dismissing the larger context.


It’s remarkable that Splinter got away with explicit criticism of their own private equity overlords, but perhaps no-one at Univision was paying any attention to what they published.