G/O Media Continues Fire Sale, Dumps A.V. Club and Takeout

Piaras Ó Mídheach/Getty
Piaras Ó Mídheach/Getty

G/O Media on Tuesday continued its fire sale, dumping another two brands from its increasingly shrinking portfolio. The beleaguered media company announced to staff on Tuesday that entertainment site The A.V. Club and food blog The Takeout had been sold to two separate companies.

G/O Media is also actively shopping satirical site The Onion, two sources familiar with the matter told The Daily Beast. The New York Post first reported on the two new sales.

In a memo sent to all staffers, G/O Media CEO Jim Spanfeller wrote that the company’s board of directors had “accepted and approved two different offers, for The A.V. Club (to Paste Media) and The Takeout (to a digital content firm focused on food sites called Static Media).”

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Spanfeller reminded employees that Paste Media had already purchased Jezebel from G/O Media last November, shortly after Spanfeller shuttered the site. Besides resurrecting Jezebel shortly after buying it, Paste also recently revived the long-dormant political site Splinter, which was included in the deal for Jezebel.

Spanfeller also noted that the majority of employees with The A.V. Club and The Takeout would remain on staff with their new companies.

“As part of our transaction agreement Paste will be offering positions to the majority of A.V. staff members. These continued positions are something we worked diligently to include as part of the overall deal,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, due to Paste’s staffing plan two staff members will not be going over to Paste and thus will be parting ways with G/O Media. Static Media has agreed to extend offers to two Takeout staff members. The third Takeout staffer will be offered reassignment to another G/O Media site where we thankfully have a suitable position. Both transactions are expected to close later this week.”

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This is in stark contrast to Spanfeller’s sale of long-running sports site Deadspin earlier this month, which resulted in the entire outlet’s staff being laid off.

One of The A.V. Club’s staffers impacted by the sale announced on X that he’d lost his job. “I’ve just been laid off from G/O Media. I was at The AV Club for 10 years, and it was my dream job for most of that time,” twwriter Sam Barsanti tweeted. “I have nothing else to say right now, but if someone's looking to hire a writer with more bylines than anyone else in the history of the AVC, LMK.”

“As I mentioned previously G/O Media has been undergoing an extensive review of our portfolio to make sure we are best positioned to succeed with both our advertising and audience delivery goals in the current business environment,” Spanfeller stated in the memo. “We are always considering both acquisition opportunities as well as reviewing all inbound interest in our portfolio.”

Jezebel Boss Quits as G/O Media Dumpster Fire Burns On

Besides purging his company of the former Gawker Media properties G/O Media purchased from Univision in 2019, Spanfeller has also seen an exodus of the vast majority of his sites’ top editors in the past year. Just last week, Kotaku’s editor-in-chief Jen Glennon resigned after G/O Media proposed the site pivot from gaming news to producing video game guides.

“Some personal news! I’ve resigned from Kotaku and Jim Spanfeller is an herb,” Glennon tweeted, using the unflattering nickname current and past staffers have bestowed upon the G/O Media chief.

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