MEDIA
07/22/2015 05:33 pm ET Updated Jul 30, 2015

Gawker Writer Rich Juzwiak Says Company Is 'In A Total Meltdown'

Deleting a controversial post outing a Condé Nast executive has only fueled the drama.

The tension between Gawker's editorial staff and senior management hasn't subsided in the wake of Monday's resignations by Tommy Craggs, executive editor of the site, and Max Read, its editor-in-chief.

Gawker writer Rich Juzwiak gave a glimpse of mood at the office in a conversation with HuffPost Live Wednesday. Wearing a T-shirt with the departed editors' names, Juzwiak described the staff as being "just in a total meltdown."

"People are furious -- editorial is basically furious with our leadership," he told host Marc Lamont Hill.

Gawker has been embroiled in controversy since the outlet published a piece outing a senior Condé Nast executive. After a public outcry, the senior management at the company voted 4-2 to take the entry down, with Craggs and Gawker Media's chief legal counsel as the two dissenting votes.

Juzwiak said the anger stems from an unexplained shift in the Gawker's editorial guidelines, which led the site's senior leadership to remove the post without consulting the staff. 

"Something changed, and we weren't privy to what," Juzwiak said. "Before Friday, we were a site that did not take down posts on whims. On Friday, we became a site that did that."

Gawker has "been dealing with backlash forever," but Juzwiak claims pushback has never before influenced the site's editorial coverage.

"I think the backlash did persuade them [to take the post down]," he said. "We get backlash all the time. We laugh at backlash."

Juzwiak, who critiqued the way Gawker went about the decision in a post of his own,  called the controversial article one of his "least favorite stories that's gone up on the site -- possibly ever." But removing it, he believes, only fueled the Internet drama.

"In my opinion, the story became a real story when the post was taken down," he said. "Up until then you could deride it as typical Gawker sleaze if you wanted to. ... [But] once the post went down, all this scrutiny went on it and then the story became not the story anymore. The story became the story about the story."

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Watch more from Rich Juzwiak's conversation with HuffPost Live here.

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