Let’s Talk About This Gizmodo Media Group Purchase

So today the news came down that Gizmodo Media (which includes Kotaku, AV Club, The Onion, and Deadspin) was going to be purchased by some fund, Great Hill Partners from their old owner, Univision. Today the new owner had some ominously vague plans for their future:

This guy is apparently connected to Tribune Inc (Aka Tronc) the morons who bought and gutted the NY Daily News last year. His grand vision to basically shill for advertisers isn’t really inspiring me either. So in 2021 or so if you’re why Kotaku and the AV Club shut down, you’ll know who to blame.

Univision was apparently bleeding money in general so it’s hard to say if Gizmodo was unprofitable. Clearly there’s not a lot of money in media, which we know, but it’s sad to see a company I really love to read end up in the hands to somebody this sketchy.

(I won’t say where but I worked for a website run by somebody exactly like this with the same vague buzzword language. Let’s just say it never worked out for anybody. I still have friends looking for jobs after the fallout of that.)

Any thoughts? Am I chicken littling too much?

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Hopefully the fact that those are all union workers will help them maintain their editorial direction and protect their jobs,


If a private equity firm acquires an organization, it’s generally bad news for the status quo. We’ve seen in the market that private equity logic (drive efficiency, increase margin, use increased profitability to flip for a profit) doesn’t lead to good outcomes for journalistic organizations. A push for efficiency and margin leads to layoffs, as well as an increased focus on making large amounts of money. That is generally opposed to things like spending money on investigations that lead to prestige but generally fewer eyeballs, like the GMG Special Projects Desk.

So yeah, expect bad news.


I mean it’s 2019, for media companies the “ is the bottom falling out” is a question of when, not if. Which suck s for the people that work there.

By all reports, GMG is generally profitable, but that won’t be any protection from venture capitalists, where turning a profit is not enough.


Yup. You can’t just make money, you need to make more and more money. It’s all about growth



The Patrick Klepek curse is a comin’ for Kotaku!


At least the curse is slowing down and weakening. Giant Bomb is still in a good place despite being bought out and Patrick left before this buyout.

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I feel like bumping this conversation considering the G/O Media and Jim Spanfeller run has turned into an all-out war faster than I ever could have imagined. Deadspin recently was told “stick to sports”, so their front page is all their pieces that have nothing to do with sports: https://deadspin.com/ Berry Patchesky has just been fired.

Also yesterday the sites put up a message complaining about the auto-play ads and how many ads appear during the pieces. The Management shut it down.

Looks like the GMG Union twitter is threatening a full-on strike as well.

Welcome to your Media Hellworld as we enter the 2020 season.


I don’t usually go to any of those site except for the odd kotaku piece and not since the new ad stuff came down. I just went to deadspin through that link and oh my god its close to unparseable. Autoplays, a large drop down add that covers half the screen and follows when you scroll. Literally three quarters of the screen is ads. Even worse that i expected, and i thought it was gonna be pretty bad.

On the war between manegement and employees, its seems pretty clear that this is the beginning of G/O choosing to burn down the house to collect the insurance money. Love to hear all the capitalists defending ruining a perfectly profitable buisness because earning 20 dollars today is better for the owners than just earning 4 dollars a year for the rest of time.


Worth remembering that management recently shut down the Gizmodo Media politics site Splinter, which regularly put out pretty great writing with the same leftist political bend Deadspin has. Probably a bit paranoid to believe they are hellbent on not publishing any openly leftist articles, but that seems to be where this road ends up.


I would suspect that’s the real reason these assholes got involved at all. To tank all this.

I would prefer rich people just sink their yachts with themselves on it but instead they need to sink any sign of a leftist media site getting traction.

I used to really love all those sites and seeming them get torn down like this is kind of heartbreaking. Hope a bunch of them can find a new place to work. Or start a new site (like they once did with Deadspin) and begin the inevitable “popular indie media site -> multiple buyouts -> all the good writers start a new indie media site” cycle.

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Mass quitting tonight at Deadspin. Probably rest of those sites will follow.



Fucking hell. RIP

I’ve been going to Deadspin and Kotaku for a long time now. I’m just hoping all the Deadspin writers land on their feet. Kudos to them for sticking to their beliefs. It couldn’t have been an easy decision considering it was either that or their immediate livelihood.


tfw one of my favorite websites is probably being sold to the unfunniest people in the universe


UGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. Late capitalism is the worst.

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I hope this comment ages well.

This was a huge bummer. Loved Splinter :frowning: