Last week, Deadspin’s editorial staff resigned in the wake of a “stick to sports” mandate handed down to them in a memo. On Tuesday, the person whose name was on that memo — Paul Maidment — announced that he has resigned from his position as editorial director of G/O Media, Deadspin’s parent company.
Maidment said in a note to staff Tuesday that he was pursuing an “entrepreneurial opportunity.”
“I wanted to let you all know that effective immediately I have resigned my position as Editorial Director of G/O Media. It is the right moment for me to leave to pursue an entrepreneurial opportunity,” Maidment wrote. “I admire the journalism that you produce and the unique voice that is otherwise missing from mainstream media. It has been a great honor and I wish you all the very best. I am certain that the sites will grow and thrive in the future.”
Maidment joined G/O Media in June as part of the media company’s new leadership. G/O Media was formed in April after private equity firm Great Hill Partners acquired Gizmodo Media Group, the collection of sites that used to be under Gawker Media. G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller had worked with Maidment at Forbes while Spanfeller was CEO and Maidment was an editor. The two also worked together at The Daily Meal.
During his tenure at G/O Media, Maidment created tension with the editorial staff, in particular Deadspin. He had scolded Megan Greenwell, who was editor-in-chief of Deadspin at the time, for letting the site report on itself for what became an August feature titled, “This Is How Things Work Now At G/O Media.” Greenwell resigned shortly thereafter and on her final day published a post that criticized G/O Media’s management. Last week, after Maidment sent the memo that instructed Deadspin’s editorial staff to “stick to sports,” Deadspin’s interim editor-in-chief Barry Petchesky was fired for not abiding by the edict. That led to the mass resignations from the site.
“We thank Paul for his hard work and wish him nothing but the very best. We will be working with our EICs to expedite the search for a new editorial director,” a G/O Media spokesperson said in a statement.
Deadspin is still without an editor-in-chief or any other publicly named editorial staff.