Will the last one to leave turn out the lights?
The departures from G/O Media kept coming Tuesday, with the resignation of the digital publishing group’s editorial director, Paul Maidment.
He told the staff he was out, effective immediately, in an email. His departure followed a week of chaos during which the entire editorial team resigned from Deadspin, a sports website operated by G/O Media.
“It is the right moment for me to leave to pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity,” Mr. Maidment said in the email. “I admire the journalism that you produce and the unique voice that is otherwise missing from mainstream media.”
G/O Media provoked a social media backlash last week after Mr. Maidment circulated a memo to Deadspin staff members instructing them to stick to sports-related topics in their articles. The staff, a group of roughly 20 editors and writers who had grown accustomed to straying from sports from time to time, rebelled, first by posting nothing but non-sports-related articles and then by quitting en masse.
At the time, the journalists at Deadspin and other digital properties under the G/O Media banner, a group that includes Gizmodo, Jezebel and Kotaku, were chafing at autoplaying ads that appeared on the sites. They published a post critical of the ads at the G/O media outlets — an article that soon disappeared, apparently scrubbed by the company’s managers, the staff union said.
The staff exodus occurred after the firing of the Deadspin interim editor in chief, Barry Petchesky, who refused to go along with the “stick to sports” edict. The last Deadspin staff member stepped down Friday.
In an interview on Friday, Jim Spanfeller, the chief executive of G/O Media, vowed that Deadspin would continue. A G/O Media spokesman said in a statement that the company would “expedite the search for a new editorial director” to take Mr. Maidment’s place.