Howard has a long piece up exploring how that fateful piece was published, with several key details. Most notably, he has on-the-record confirmation that SB Nation Longform editor Glenn Stout (also the series editor of The Best American Sportswriting) is gone, following the news that author Jeff Arnold also won’t be working with SB Nation any more. Howard also reports that the site’s longform program seems dead. (Bold emphasis added.)
Wednesday, there was a daylong Vox Media meeting in Washington, D.C. Company brass spoke about SB Nation’s structure, demographics, and the failed safeguards that could have stopped the fiasco. After it was over, [SB Nation editorial director Spencer] Hall told Deadspin, “Glenn has worked his last day at SBNation.com.”
In our reporting, we found that lots of people within SB Nation and Vox Media were more than willing to point to Stout and Arnold as bad actors here, and there’s no real reason to think they weren’t. (What the company finds may well remain unknown; we’re told the results of its inquest are unlikely to be made public.) With those two properly anathematized, though—Stout is gone and the SB Nation Longform program for all intents and purposes dead, with one well-placed source telling us that if it ever relaunches, it’ll likely be in a different form—the company must now go about fixing what was very much an organizational failure. Perhaps it actually will.
Howard’s piece also includes details of how this piece was published over objections from editors, specifically SB Nation senior editor Elena Bergeron. She was initially left out of the loop on the final draft, then was sent it two days before publication and had an unsuccessful pre-publication over-the-phone argument with Stout about issues with the piece.
It’s worth a read in its entirety as an external look at SB Nation’s editorial process that led to the publishing of what Hall called “a complete failure.” However, the key takeaway is that the SB Nation Longform program in its current form is not just on “temporary hiatus,” but dead. We’ll see what, if anything, the site elects to replace it with.