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Crispy Gamer editorial staff laid off, CEO resigns in protest

Just one month after purchasing GamerDNA, the promising stat-driven video game community site, Crispy Gamer has laid off its entire editorial staff, on the authority of the company's board of directors. We're told Chris Heldman, the CEO, former head of media entertainment at Google and co-founder of Crispy Gamer, has resigned in protest. Last September, Crispy's other co-founder, John Keefer, left to join the editorial staff of the influential GamePolitics blog.

The staff was told that they'll be paid for the month, but their termination is effective immediately, leading us to believe the site is going on a similarly immediate hiatus. Editorial staff affected include former Joystiq writer Kyle Orland, along with Scott Jones, John Teti, Evan Narcisse, James Fudge, Ryan Kuo, Managing Editor Elise Vogel, and Chief Marketing Officer Anne Mischler.

Writing about his sale of the company to Crispy Gamer just last month, GamerDNA CEO Jon Radoff said that the site "has very ambitious plans to build a media company around the gaming market." Today's news would seem to indicate that however ambitious those plans are, they no longer include an editorial component. We've reached out to both Radoff and Heldman and will update this post when we learn more.

Update: Jon Radoff told us, "I just heard it for the first time from you. And just got another call from another journalist a minute ago. I'm afraid I don't know anything about the situation -- if true, it's surprising and unfortunate." Indeed.

Update 2: Mr. Keefer wrote in to clarify some of the editorial positions and to let us know that Mr. James Fudge was also laid off. He also had this personal response to add: "It's hard to see a dream die, especially one you put your heart and soul into. The site was created for the readers and to give them an alternative voice, to dig deeper than many of the sites out there and to make readers think about what they play and why they play. Personally, I had a lot of fun in the process. Thanks to all the people that read the site and became part of the growing community."

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