Gawker Media Executive Editor Tommy Craggs and Gawker Editor-in-Chief Max Read are stepping down from their posts at the company, stating that they can no longer guarantee Gawker's editorial integrity after the company's management — not editorial — removed a controversial post on Friday.
The post, which reported that Condé Nast CFO David Geithner had allegedly attempted to rendezvous with a gay porn star for a night in a hotel, was widely criticized for needlessly outing Geithner for a scoop that appeared to be outside the interests of the public. Craggs and Read said its removal irreparably broke down the "firewall" between Gawker's editorial department and the business side.
Craggs and Read both posted memos detailing their decisions to leave the company. From Read's:
I am able to do this job to the extent that I can believe that the people in charge are able, when faced with difficult decisions, to back up their stated commitments to transparency, fearlessness, and editorial independence. In the wake of Friday’s decision and Tommy’s resignation I can no longer sustain that belief. I find myself forced to resign, effective immediately.
This was not an easy decision. I hope the partnership group recognizes the degree to which it has betrayed the trust of editorial, and takes steps to materially reinforce its independence. [Gawker]
Nick Denton, founder and head of Gawker Media, responded that the post in question was "an unprecedented misuse of the independence given to editorial." It is not yet clear who will fill the positions Craggs and Read have surrendered.