Kotaku EIC Resigns Over New Editorial Edict

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Jen Glennon, who took over as editor in chief of Kotaku in October, resigned Thursday. In a resignation letter seen by Aftermath, Glennon says that she made this choice due to the management team’s recent decision to deprioritize news in favor of guides.

Glennon is the second editor in chief of Kotaku since Stephen Totilo’s departure in 2021, following Patricia Hernandez, who was fired in August 2023. (Aftermath co-founder Riley MacLeod functioned as interim editor in chief prior to Hernandez’s hiring.)

“After careful consideration, I have concluded that the current management structure and decision-making processes at G/O Media are not aligned with my values and goals for Kotaku,” Glennon wrote in her letter of resignation, which was addressed to G/O Media executives Jim Spanfeller and Lea Goldman. 

“I firmly believe that the decision to ‘invert’ Kotaku’s editorial strategy to deprioritize news in favor of guides is fundamentally misguided given the current infrastructure of the site,” Glennon wrote. “[This decision is] directly contradicted by months of traffic data, and shows an astonishing disregard for the livelihoods of the remaining writers and editors who work here.”

Glennon also announced her resignation on Twitter, writing, “I’ve resigned from Kotaku and Jim Spanfeller is an herb.”

According to a source close to the situation, Kotaku’s staff will be expected to create 50 guides a week at the site. Currently, Kotaku’s homepage features a prominent “game tips and guides” module at the top of the page, in a space that was previously reserved for major stories and breaking news. Staff members have criticized the homepage redesign on social media, noting that Kotaku’s major source of traffic is not guides.

Aftermath reached out to G/O Media for comment but did not immediately receive a response.

Since Great Hill Partners’ acquisition of the sites, then known as Gizmodo Media, in 2019, the overall portfolio has seen a decline in traffic as well as an exodus of editorial leadership and staff—the co-founders of Aftermath included. Most recently, Spanfeller announced the sale of Deadspin and the layoff of all staff working there. In November, Paste bought former G/O Media site Jezebel, following the site’s closure and a full layoff of its staff. In March 2023, former G/O site Lifehacker was sold to Ziff Davis.

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