Mashable Fires Editor-At-Large Ben Parr Just Before The Holidays!

We have just learnt from multiple sources that Ben Parr – Editor at the popular social media blog, has been fired! Both AllThingD and Business Insider have independently confirmed this to be true.

Ben Parr was fired a week before the Thanksgiving Holiday – this Friday, November 18th to be precise.

It seems that Mashable / Pete Cashmore and Ben Parr parted in a less than amicable way.

mashable fires ben parr-editor photo pete cashmore jolie odonell photo pic why rumors

L to R: Ben Parr, Pete Cashmore, Jolie ODonnell

Why Did Ben Parr Get Fired?

So why did Pete Cashmore fire Ben Parr? There have been rumors of Ben Parr negotiating a huge payout with Peter Cashmore.

According to a BI post last week.

Ben Parr was offered an enormous cash payout as long as he stays until 2012. One source said Parr was offered a compensation package, on top of salary, worth more than $100,000 and less than $300,000.


One source said Mashable held onto Parr because he was described as Mashable’s “front man” and had a large brand. Another source told us Parr was offered equity, but wanted a cash compensation plan.

The BI source also indicated that Parr’s payout was a breach of contract. ¬†Speculations are running high on twitter and the blogosphere that the talks between Pete Cashmore and Ben Parr about this alleged big payout brokedown and Ben Parr was fired as a result.

Both Mashable and Ben Parr have refused to comment on Ben Parr’s departure, with Mashable simply sending a one line email stating,

Ben Parr is no longer with Mashable. For all inquiries, please contact Chris Taylor and Lance Ulanoff.

and Ben Parr promising to throw light on this on Monday (tomorrow).

Mashable Becomes A Pageview Ho, Bleeds Talent

Ben Parr is not the first high-profile person at Mashable to depart the agency. Five of Mashable’s most reputed writers¬† – Jolie O’Dell, Jennifer Van Grove, Radhika Marya, Brenna Ehrlich, and Erica Swallow – left over the course of just a few months this year.

On top of that, Mashable also laid off most of its tech events staff including Kate Hayden, Karen Hartline and Site manager Brett Petersel. While Mashable describes all its departures as “mutual”, the BI sources allege that they left because they disagreed with the direction of the company was going.

After Cashmore hired former editor in chief of PC Mag Lance Ulanoff to take the company in a new direction, sources allege that pageviews (the count of how many individual web pages are displayed) became the dominating metric for success, rather than unique visitors (which would be far less, especially consider the massive loyal following that Mashable currently enjoys). It seems that writers were also told to insert a gallery whenever possible to generate additional pageviews.

Another shocking revelation was that not even senior Mashable members held equity in the company, according to the BI source. Multiple sources said not even Parr held equity and it was just Pete Cashmore and his senior staff.

We will know soon – within a matter of hours hopefully – what really happened. But it is quite likely going to turn into a “he said,he said” war of words and the truth may never come out.

Stay tuned.

[ via AllThingsD, Business Insider, Business Insider Article ]

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