Yesterday, Gawker published a post about the CFO of Condé Nast attempting to pay a gay porn star for a night in a Chicago hotel. Today the managing partnership of Gawker Media voted, 4-2*, to remove the post. Executive editor Tommy Craggs, who helped edit the piece, and President Heather Dietrick, who reviewed and cleared it before publication in her capacity as Gawker Media’s chief legal counsel, were the only partners who dissented.
The vote to remove the post, which was written by staff writer Jordan Sargent and edited by several other Gawker staffers, comes after widespread criticism from our own readers and other outlets. Along with Craggs, every other member of Gawker Media’s editorial leadership, including Gawker’s editor-in-chief Max Read and the executive editors of Gawker Media’s Politburo, strenuously protested removing the post.
The partners who voted to remove the post were Andrew Gorenstein, who serves as the president of advertising and partnerships; chief operating officer Scott Kidder; chief strategy officer Erin Pettigrew; and chief executive officer Nick Denton, who founded Gawker Media in 2002. Along with Tommy Craggs and Heather Dietrick, they belong to Gawker Media’s managing partnership, which Denton established in 2014 and whose members decide on all major company matters.
“The point of this story was not in my view sufficient to offset the embarrassment to the subject and his family,” Denton wrote in a lengthy statement issued on Friday afternoon. “Accordingly, I have had the post taken down. It is the first time we have removed a significant news story for any reason other than factual error or legal settlement.”
* Correction: This post originally stated that Heather Dietrick, the President and chief legal counsel of Gawker Media, voted to remove the post. In fact her vote was miscounted due to a miscommunication that occurred during a Friday morning meeting where the managing partners voted; Dietrick voted to keep the post.