The CEO of Gizmodo Media Group announced in a memo to staff today that he would be stepping down and leaving later this month with the parent company’s “reluctant blessing.”
Raju Narisetti was named in September 2016 to lead the Gizmodo Media Group, formerly known as Gawker Media, to oversee titles that included Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and Kotaku. Former flagship website, Gawker.com, was shut down days after Univision acquired the other properties in a bankruptcy auction.
Narisetti said in his email to staff that his decision “makes structural sense for GMG.”
“If you can, amid all the relentless change that is now the new normal for our business, remain focused on our growing audiences, and keep creating meaningful differences than better sameness, with all your journalism, every day,” Narisetti wrote in the email.
The GMG newsroom staff will be overseen by editorial director Susie Banikarim who will work with Sameer Deen, recently named the head of Univision Digital, to manage GMG, The Onion and Univision.com, Narisetti said.
“We are all grateful that (Narisetti) leaves behind a strong editorial leadership team that I am confident will continue to build on the successes of the past year. I have enjoyed getting to know Susie, who has established herself as an exceptional leader of the newsroom, and look forward to working with her more closely moving forward,” Deen said in his own email to staff.
Narisetti said he didn’t have anything lined up yet, but that it was a “welcome, new experience for me in three, non-stop decades in journalism and the business of journalism.” Narisetti had been News Corp’s senior vp of strategy before his appointment to CEO of Gizmodo Media Group.
Narisetti’s decision comes amid a recent report by The Wall Street Journal that Univision is considering extensive budget cuts after halting its plans for an initial public offering.
An outside consulting group hired to review the company proposed cutting the budget of Fusion Media Group, which includes Gizmodo Media Group, by up to 35 percent, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Recently, 20 Univision staffers were laid off, including several high-level executives at Fusion Media Group. Additionally, Univision CEO Randy Falco plans to retire at the end of the year, though he’s contracted through 2020, and a search to replace him is underway.