Last week, Gawker Media proprietor Nick Denton tried to put out a fire by deleting Gawker’s controversial post that outed Conde Nast’s CFO for attempting to hire a male prostitute.
As it turns out, he may have just dumped gasoline on it, as Gawker Media Executive Editor Tommy Craggs and Gawker.com Editor in Chief Max Read said they’re leaving the company.
Craggs condemned the managing partnership’s vote to yank the post in a memo sent to editorial staff announcing his resignation. That managing partnership — an executive committee which until today consisted of Craggs, Denton, chief counsel and president Heather Dietrick, ads boss Andrew Gorenstein, chief strategy officer Erin Pettigrew and COO Scott Kidder — voted 4-2 on Friday (with Craggs and Dietrick dissenting) to remove the article.
“No one told me the vote was actually happening, by the way. It just … happened, while I was on a plane to California,” Craggs wrote. “No one in editorial was informed that Nick had reached what he now calls the point of last resort; no one had explained what other resorts had been tried and had failed in the less than 24 hours between publication and takedown.”
In a separate email to the managing partnership, Read called the deletion “an absolute surrender of Gawker’s claim to ‘radical transparency.’”
“That non-editorial business executives were given a vote in the decision to remove it is an unacceptable and unprecedented breach of the editorial firewall,” Read said. “And [it] turns Gawker’s claim to be the world’s largest independent media company into, essentially, a joke.”
Denton wrote in his own memo that the article represented “an unprecedented misuse of the independence given to editorial.”
“The choice was a cruel one,” Denton wrote. “A management override that would likely cause a beloved editorial leader to resign on principle; or a story that was pure poison to our reputation just as we go into the Hogan trial.”
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.