Gawker Media is offering severance pay to any employees unwilling to submit to a more gentle editorial tone, according to a leaked memo from company President Heather Dietrick obtained by International Business Times.
"[W]e'll be offering severance to those who do not wish to continue at the company under a modified version of the editorial vision," the memo said.
"Those who stay will be committing to a slight recalibration, making sure that we publish stories that are newsworthy and both true and interesting," it went on. "They'll be supporting a workplace where open discussion flourishes and civility reigns."
The memo follows a turbulent week for Gawker Media's flagship site: After a majority of the managing partnership joined CEO and founder Nick Denton in overuling the editorial side and removing a widely criticized post allegedly outing a Condé Nast executive, two top editors resigned and other staff revolted.
The memo indicates Denton and the management are serious about a shift in Gawker's voice that will prevent any article like that from ever making it on the site again. Talk of a new, "kinder" Gawker, combined with the objections to removing the Condé Nast post, have rubbed many staffers the wrong way.
"If Nick isn't worried about a talent drain, he should be," senior editor Alex Pareene told IBTimes on Friday.
"Nick is changing his mind about what he wants daily and sometimes hourly," he added. "There are people he wants gone; this is going to cause various talented people who shouldn't leave to leave."
On Denton's side, concerns about Gawker's editorial tone have resulted in his theory of the "Gawker tax," the difference between what Gawker can charge advertisers and what less scandalazing media companies such as Vox can chanrge. Several marketing and ad agency executives told IBTimes that he may be on to something.
Dietrick did not respond to a request for comment.
Employees taking the deal will be paid through July and take away two months' worth of pay for severance, while benefits will go till September.
The offer is open to full-time employees at Gawker.com. It didn't mention any such offer for those working at one Gawker Media's other sites, including Deadspin, io9 and Valleywag.