Best jobs: Gawker Media
The staff works hard, but they have a roof deck!
Mon Aug 2 2010
You wouldn't expect the Soho headquarters of Gawker Media—the blogging empire founded by Nick Denton in 2003—to be eerily quiet; but on the Wednesday afternoon that we visited the space, the office was subdued, with most of the 60 employees who work in the office bent over their computers. However, as with any media company, that pace isn't static. "It varies throughout the day," says Scott Kidder, the company's director of editorial operations. Marketing director Erin Pettigrew adds, "There's a surprising work ethic that might not be obvious from the culture of the sites; I think everyone is a bit of a workhorse." But anyone who has ever read one of the company's nine blogs—which focus on beats like tech, sex, gossip, gadgets and more—could probably attest to that fact: Over the course of 24 hours, there might be as many as 60 blog posts on the more heavily trafficked blogs (like Gawker and Gizmodo). "The pace of what we do can be grueling," says Brian Moylan, a staff writer for Gawker; he estimates that he writes anywhere from eight to ten items a day. ("If I ever need to think of someone who has a worse job than I do, I watch me some Deadliest Catch," he jokes.) But the intense environment is nevertheless a draw. "It's a blessing when you're in a good mood and you want to be busy," explains Matt Cherette, an assistant editor at Gawker.tv who also works part-time at Gawker.com. "It's a curse when you just want to go take a nap, or just sit there and stare at the ceiling."
Meanwhile, behind the scenes, teams of salespeople, marketing staff, tech folks and others keep the blog network running smoothly, whether by selling ad space on the site, producing sponsored content, organizing events or maintaining the servers (to name but a few things). Different departments occasionally work together on projects (like Summermodo, a Heineken-sponsored event that featured posts and advertisements on Gizmodo); employees also fraternize outside of the office. "I drink with my bosses all the time," says sales associate James Del, who started at Gawker two and a half years ago, while he was still in college. He's not the only one who's a fan of the office culture at Gawker. "It's not like the Plastics sit here and the cool Asians sit here and the nerdy Asians sit there and the band geeks sit there," explains Cherette. It's like we're all in the cafeteria, and it's one big table."
Wanna work here?
Whenever job openings come up, they're posted on the appropriate Gawker Media blog. But there are nontraditional ways to make connections too: Using social networking sites like Tumblr and Twitter may help you get to know the right people. And don't burn bridges: "Meet as many people as you can, and be nice to them," says Brian Moylan, Gawker staff writer. "You never know how you're going to get hooked up with whatever gig."
Employees: "More than 120 people make a living with Gawker," says Kidder.
Employees who've left and then come back: There are at least three: Jessica Coen, a founding editor of Gawker, is now the editor-in-chief at Jezebel; Richard Lawson, who worked in ad sales and as a writer for Gawker, left in 2009 and returned this year; and Joel Johnson, who was one of Gizmodo's earliest editors, is now the site's editor-at-large.
Total square feet of the company's roof deck: About 5,000
Total unique monthly visitors to Gawker Media sites: 17.8 million (U.S.), 30 million (global)