Reporters React After Private Equity Firm Buys Gizmodo Media Group: ‘Another Dark Day in Journalism’
Journalists reacted with horror after Univision sold Gizmodo Media Group, formerly known as Gawker Media, to the private equity firm Great Hill Partners, which has plans to use the network of websites for “targeting marketers who are seeking brand-safe content.”
Gizmodo Media Group, which includes Gizmodo, Deadspin, Jezebel, The Root, and Splinter, will be renamed G/O Media Inc. by the new owners, per the Hollywood Reporter. Jim Spanfeller, founder of the digital content-focused Spanfeller Media Group, will lead the latest iteration of the Gizmodo brand.
According to the Wall Street Journal, Spanfeller plans to increase the media group’s profits by “automated or programmatic advertising sales, targeting marketers who are seeking brand-safe content and high quality audiences that are difficult to find elsewhere” — a detail that concerned some critics of the sale.
A number of media figures, including some former Gawker employees, voiced concern over the equity firm’s acquisition of the news and opinion outlets, with one person warning this could lead to another “dark day in journalism” — like the recent mass layoffs at Vice, BuzzFeed, and HuffPost. Check out a few of their reactions below:
I think we’ve all always wanted to see private-equity-owned-blogging-at-scale and by god we’ll now get the chance https://t.co/BtkqkCf781
— Joshua Benton (@jbenton) April 8, 2019
who says journalism is dead pic.twitter.com/JSsVQHvaEz
— Ashley Feinberg (@ashleyfeinberg) April 8, 2019
— Jason Shevrin (@jasonshevrin) April 8, 2019
I imagine another dark day in journalism is on the horizon, but here’s hoping I’m wrong https://t.co/330bmwCb6q
— Emily C. Singer (@CahnEmily) April 8, 2019
— Jennifer Bendery (@jbendery) April 8, 2019
“targeting marketers who are seeking brand-safe content…” makes me shudder https://t.co/ZV1yGqGDga
— Dan Reilly (@danreilly11) April 8, 2019
Modest prediction: Jim Spanfeller (my former boss many years ago) + the Gizmodo folks will be an uncomfortable fit.
— Peter Kafka (@pkafka) April 8, 2019
— Megan Carpentier (@megancarpentier) April 8, 2019
[image via screengrab]
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