A.J. Daulerio's tenure at Gawker lasted just over a year. Daulerio, who took over after editing Deadspin editor has quit, and senior writer John Cook is taking over as editor-in-chief. Daulerio took the helm of Nick Denton's flagship site in November of 2011, and at the time Daulerio was best known for publishing a photograph of NFL player Brett Favre's penis.
Breaking tradition with his recent predecessors, Daulerio jumped rather than wait to get pushed out. According to people familiar with the situation, he gave notice on Wednesday evening and suggested Cook as his replacement. Cook accepted the job on Thursday.
"For those of you not in the people aquarium meeting a few short minutes ago, it is my duty to inform you via email that I’m leaving Gawker Media. John Cook is the new editor of Gawker.com." Daulerio wrote in an internal e-mail to his staff, which was picked up by The New York Observer.
We, obviously, are not a part of the Gawker staff, and were not of the "people aquarium meeting" that Daulerio mentions but The Observer has it that Daulerio's departure came because he and Denton did not see eye to eye about his role there—a role Daulerio wanted expanded:
Sources told the Observer Mr. Daulerio had recently asked Gawker head honcho Nick Denton to take a higher position overseeing multiple blogs at the Gawker Media network but was told by Mr. Denton that he was not “responsible” enough. In spite of this, other sources at the company say he quit and was not fired by Mr. Denton.
Cook, Gawker's new editor-in-chief, has been responsibile for some of Gawker's biggest scoops in recent years, and has made Fox News and its chief Roger Ailes a perennial target of the site. Cook was the Gawker staffer who shepherded "Fox Mole" Joe Muto. This week, Fox News struck back at Gawker after Cook posted a list of New York City's registered handgun owners by posting the site's tip line. Denton squashed the idea that Fox's and gun owners's ire got Cook the promotion:
Curious how gun owners will interpret switch at @gawker. Promotion for writer or departure of editor? The disappointing truth: unrelated!— Nick Denton (@nicknotned) January 10, 2013
At the time Denton announced Daulerio's hire, he wrote, "It's not as if Gawker is in crisis [but] we need to release the full potential of the site's excellent roster of writers—and fill out the team with new hires. A.J. has proven himself as both developer and recruiter of editorial talent. That's what the site needs right now. Hence the switch."