The”Burt Gertson” saga, where FanSided editors created a fake columnist a month ago, said he had worked at The New York Post, staged a profane public fight between him and fellow columnist Mia Khalifa Thursday, and then had editor-in-chief Jim Cavan (seen at left above) insist Gertson was real when challenged several times before eventually admitting he didn’t exist and his column was satire, has led to Cavan’s firing. Here’s FanSided’s statement:
Dear Fans and Readers,
Since founding FanSided in 2009, we have listened to the pulse of the fan. We’ve kept listening, while working tirelessly to cultivate a voice that represents those enthusiastic fans in a professional manner.
Recently, we published an article which failed to represent our commitment to both that voice and our professionalism. The article, entitled “Series of Tubes: Khalifa Madness,” was an ill-conceived attempt at satire. We apologize to those we offended and assure you that this is not reflective of what our organization stands for. It does not represent the network of amazing people and properties that make FanSided truly unique.
After careful consideration, the employment of FanSided.com’s Editor-in-Chief has been terminated.
We can only hope you look at our long track record of passionate yet professional content and continue to trust and enjoy all FanSided has to offer.
The FanSided Management Team
Cavan’s appointment adds to FanSided’s momentum and is the latest in a series of recent initiatives for the network. They include the opening of new Chicago-based editorial headquarters with in-house video production studios, as well as expansion into a Phoenix-based tech office that is responsible for revamping the CMS across the network and continued product innovation.
“Jim is an exceptional talent, and we are very pleased to have him join the organization to help lead the next chapter of FanSided,” said Sports Illustrated Group Digital GM Patty Hirsch. “By offering the voice of the fan through a simple and effective platform, FanSided has enjoyed tremendous growth, especially since becoming part of the Time Inc. family, and we see immense potential and opportunity for this to continue.”
Multiple FanSided writers have reached out to Awful Announcing since Thursday to express their displeasure with the Gertson column and with Cavan’s actions, and at least one quit the company over this. The swift change here makes it clear management takes this seriously. The Gertson Twitter account has already been deleted, so it seems likely we’ve seen the last of that column as well.