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G/O Media is a publishing company that manages news websites and blogs Gizmodo, Kotaku, Deadspin, Jezebel, The Onion, Jalopnik, AV Club and several others. The company, a subsidiary of Great Hill Partners investment group, was formed in April 2019 to manage the websites following their acquisition from Univision. In late October 2019, the company gained notoriety online due to the firing of a Deadspin employee which followed the websites putting up a blog article about sound-on autoplay ads.
On April 8th, 2019, investment company Great Hill Partners announced that it acquired Gizmodo Media Group from Univision Communications. The deal saw websites formerly comprising the Group, including Gizmodo, Kotaku, Deadspin, Jezebel, The Onion, AV Club and several others, being transitioned under the management of the group company G/O Media (company logo shown below), a subsidiary of Great Hill Partners. It was also revealed that G/O Media was headed by former CEO of Forbes.com James Spanfeller.
October 2019 Editorial Conflict
On October 28th, 2019, Deadspin, Kotaku and other websites owned by the group posted blog article titled "A Note to Our Readers," in which the editors of the writers, editors and video producers of the websites expressed concerns about a seven-figure advertising deal reached by G/O Media which led to an increased among of auto-play advertisements on the websites, urging the readers to submit feedback about the user experience to G/O Media's senior leadership team.
We have received a great deal of feedback from you, our readers, about the sound-on autoplay videos that have been inundating our sites. We want you to know that we hear you, that we take those complaints seriously, and that we, the writers, editors, and video producers of Deadspin, are as upset with the current state of our site’s user experience as you are.
Within several hours, the blog articles were deleted by the G/O Media management team without consent from the website editorial teams, violating the Gizmodo Media Group's union contract, with the G/O Media management also closing their e-mail account.
On the same day, G/O Media editorial director Paul Maidment sent a memo to the Deadspin staff in which he insisted that the website, which primary focus is sports but which also publishes articles about media, politics and culture, should be covering sports stories exclusively. On the same day, Daily Beast reported about the blog article and the memo.
To create as much great sports journalism as we can requires a 100% focus of our resources on sports. And it will be the sole focus,” Maidment said. “Deadspin will write only about sports and that which is relevant to sports in some way.
On October 29th, 2019, Deadspin deputy editor Barry Petchesky was fired by the company due to his disagreement with the memo (tweet shown below, left). In the following hours, several employees of Deadspin, Kotaku and their sister websites expressed displeasure with the G/O Media actions on social media, with many editors also changing their profile pictures to the Gizmodo Media Group Union logo (tweet collection shown below, right).
The tweets about the firing and the ongoing conflict between the Gizmodo Media Group Union and the G/O Media prompted rumors that Kotaku and some of its sister websites may be closing, with Kotaku editor Jason Schreier later clarifying that the website will continue to work.
The rumors prompted a number of users on Twitter, Reddit, 4chan and other website to post memes about the websites experiencing difficulties, with some users celebrating the news (examples shown below).
 The Daily Beast – G/O Media Tells Deadspin Staff in Leaked Memo: Stick to Sports
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