G/O Media’s top editorial employee has left the company following internal clashes with other higher-ups at the company, according to multiple sources with knowledge. Jim Rich, who oversaw the portfolio of popular digital media publications including Gizmodo, Jezebel, The Onion, Lifehacker, and several others sites, resigned on Friday afternoon. He confirmed to The Daily Beast that he was no longer with the company, but would not elaborate on the circumstances for his departure—though he clarified that it was unrelated to criticism last week of a Deadspin story about star ESPN host Rachel Nichols.
Rich joined the company last year with the mission of relaunching the sports site Deadspin following a mass exodus of the site’s staff, but was quickly promoted to editorial director. In recent months, the company has touted its successes, launching a new data-driven advertising platform and saying it has largely recovered from pandemic-driven advertising losses that resulted in layoffs last year.
But it has also remained an occasional magnet for controversies. Last week, The New York Times published a story about internal tensions at ESPN following the leak of a video of Nichols lamenting that host Maria Taylor, who is Black, was named host of the network’s 2020 NBA finals coverage because ESPN was “feeling pressure” on diversity. Deadspin published a story co-bylined by Rich about the video last year, but did not include the context of Nichols’ comments, and instead trashed the leaker as a “creep,” sparking outrage when the Times published its article last week.