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Posts Tagged ‘Gaby Darbyshire’

Gaby Darbyshire, Veteran of Gawker Media, Departs Company

Gaby Darbyshire has left Gawker Media. Darbyshire, COO of Gawker Media, had been with the company since 2004. Prior to her time at Gawker she helped launch Oriel Wines in 2003.

While details as to what Darbyshire will do next are scarce, she told All Things D in an email that her departure was necessary:

I had a great run with Nick [Denton] at Gawker, but I want to do some other projects. Given that the company has matured into a well-oiled machine, it was the right time for me to move on, and change is a good thing for everyone.

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Al Roker, Barbara Bush and Peggy Siegal Fetes Elizabeth Olsen

1003_mockup.gifWe were disappointed to hear that we’d missed seeing Wendy Williams who’d come by on Monday for lunch with her parents. A little birdie told me that the talk show diva issued this rallying cry to mom and dad before departing to face the lone paparazzo waiting outside: “Get ready! Here we go! Here we go!”  Today the few shooters milling around outside had a little more to work with since starlet of the moment, Elizabeth Olsen, was being feted in the Garden Room. Meanwhile, the main event in the dining room featured its usual mix of moguls (Barry Diller, Ron Perelman),  talking heads (Al Roker) and high-profile editors (Jon Meacham). Just business as usual for Wednesday at Michael’s.

I was joined today by Good Housekeeping editor-in-chief Rosemary Ellis, the magazine’s new money columnist Carmen Wong Ulrich and Hearst’s executive director of public relations, Alexandra Carlin. With 24 million (yes, you read that right) readers, this is not your mother’s Good Housekeeping. With Ellis at the helm, GH is a must read for the multi-tasking, multifaceted woman (Is there any other kind?) and filled with smart, savvy content that covers everything from food and fashion to family and finances.  And, while many books have retooled their marketing message for a niche reader, Good Housekeeping is a media behemoth with some really impressive reach. “We’re not age specific. We have kazillions of 28-year-old readers and kazillions of 34-year-old readers,” says Ellis. “More than the magazines that target them.”  Rosemary, whose editor letters are often inspired by her own family life and her adorable daughter, Lucy (“I figure I have a few more years before she says no more”) says Good Housekeeping offers “one stop shopping  — Who has time to read seven different magazines?”

We all agreed that the one topic on every woman’s mind these days is money. It makes sense, says Rosemary, because 80 percent of all  spending decisions are made by the woman of the house. So, Rosemary tapped Carmen to dispense her unique brand of uncommon financial common sense culled from years of experience deciphering today’s often confusing and confounding financial landscape. “I live for this,” says Carmen, who first became interested in money through her father. “I’ve been watching stocks since I was eight.”

Carmen Wong Ulrich, Diane Clehane and Rosemary Ellis
Carmen Wong Ulrich, yours truly and Rosemary Ellis

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Gawker Media Buys Rights to Japanese Reality Show

According to All Things D, Nick Denton and the Gawker Media empire have officially entered into the TV business. Beginning next week Gawker’s gaming website – Kotaku – is going to air complete episodes of a show called Retro Game Master. The premise of the show is this: A guy named Arino tries to beat old Nintendo games. Yes, that’s it.

Denton has purchased 12 episodes of the show and if it’s a hit for Kotaku, he has the rights to air more episodes. Gawker Media’s Chief Operating Officer Gaby Darbyshire explained that if it fails, it won’t be a big deal. “Put it this way – it was not an extravagant experiment to make. Surprisingly small,” she said.

Let’s hope so. We can’t imagine how watching a TV show about a guy playing video games could be entertaining, since watching people play video games live is intensely boring. But hey, maybe that’s just us.

More On Gawker Media’s Full-Time Status

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Monday morning Nick Denton announced that for the first time ever, Gawker Media writers would have the opportunity to become full-time employees instead of freelancers. Ostensibly good news in this wintery publishing climate, where benefits like health insurance (and even unemployment) are a thing of the past. Sheila McClear, a former Gawker editor who successfully went to court to get unemployment from Gawker told Fishbowl “I congratulate them for going legit.” Sheila is speaking of course, about the common practice for blogs (and most other media these days) to use use freelancers and permalancers in editorial roles so as not to have to dole out benefits or pay the 15% tax for full-time employees.

Many are speculating why Denton finally made the switch: certainly it doesn’t help him financially to pay writers as full-time employees, but it does make an appealing draw to Gawker for heavy-hitting journalists who may not have been willing to work under the previous conditions. Also speculated is that having full-time employees filed under 1099 status is technically illegal, and Denton may have finally gotten in some hot water with the IRS over unpaid taxes. We reached out to Gawker Media and asked them exactly what the terms and conditions of for the new W2 employees are.

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