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GameSpot posts official Gerstmann firing notice

Kyle Orland

It took nearly four long, controversy-filled days, but GameSpot has finally posted notice on their web site that editorial director Jeff Gerstmann has been fired. Or, as the notice itself puts it, "after over a decade in a variety of editorial roles, Jeff Gerstmann's tenure as editorial director has ended."

Besides praising Gerstmann's work and offering him best wishes, the notice echoes the company's earlier statement by saying that "details of Gerstmann's departure cannot be disclosed publicly" because of "legal constraints and the company policy of GameSpot parent CNET Networks." The posting also firmly denies (yet again) that advertiser pressure had any role in the firing.

"Neither CNET Networks nor GameSpot has ever allowed its advertising business to affect its editorial content," said Greg Brannan, CNET Networks Entertainment's vice president of programming. "The accusations in the media that it has done so are unsubstantiated and untrue. Jeff's departure stemmed from internal reasons unrelated to any buyer of advertising on GameSpot." Strong words, but ones that might come too late for many gamers who have already made up their minds about the controversy.

Oddly enough, Gerstmann does still appear on the site's About Us page, nearly a week after his termination last Wednesday. The notice about the firing currently appears on the front page of the site as the top news story.

Even with the posted statement, many questions remain surrounding the firing. Why was Gerstmann's Kane & Lynch video review removed from the site? Did Eidos (or any other company) bring pressure to bear on Gamespot, even if it was ignored? (Eidos continues to ignore repeated requests for comment from Joystiq). How does Gamespot plan on addressing the sizable outrage in the gaming community over the issue, justified or not? We'll keep looking for answers to these and other questions surrounding the controversy and will of course let you know what we find.

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