Some more changes going on today at AOL. John Buckley, Jim Bankoff, and Joe Redling are all moving on. All great guys, all will go on to great things.
Of course, Nick Denton the gossip/porn publisher of Valleywg/Gawker will spin this as them being fired, but the truth is these guys could have stayed and they elected to move on (as Rafat at PaidContent.org gets right).
When there are management changes at big companies like this folks sit down, discuss where thing are going, and people decide if they want to stay or not. Then the mature, professional folks make sure everything is in order and do a transition plan. It really doesn’t go down that senior folks are walked to the door with their stuff in a box and security guards on either side.
Of course, in Nick Denton’s view of the world something mundane just can’t happen–it doesn’t get ratings.
Folks are axed or kicked out in Nick’s world–even if that’s just not true. Nick is a lonely guy, you can see it in his eyes when you spend time with him. He’s really good one-on-one actually, and you get the sense you could be friends with the guy. Although that hint of depression lies just below the surface, and you can tell that he will stab you in the back at some point–he just can’t stop himself. He wants to get close to folks, he wants to be liked, but before that can happen he realizes who he is and pulls away.
There is a certain sadness to him that comes out in his need to get attention, and the way he gets his attention is by hurting people. It’s really sad. I wonder if sometime he understands–or any gossip publishers understand–that when you publishes lies about people it makes their lives hard.
I suspect that part of what enables him to do what he does is that he’s been able to disconnect himself from the impact his lies and venom have one people.