Media News

Semafor climate and energy editor Spindle departs, cites Chevron concerns

December 4, 2022

Posted by Chris Roush

Semafor climate and energy editor Bill Spindle has left the news startup due to concerns about Chevron advertising around his content, reports Loree Seitz of The Wrap.

Seitz reports, “‘I’m not saying they or Chevron improperly influenced the climate coverage. I could ‘call it as I saw it,” Spindle posted on Twitter. ‘What concerned me was my belief that it was not appropriate to have Chevron advertising on the same page as stories on climate coverage, particularly as the dominant advertiser.’

“Spindle’s exit comes just six weeks after the launch of the digital media company ‘based on journalistic transparency’ in October under the leadership of former New York Times media reporter Ben Smith and former Bloomberg Media CEO Justin Smith.

“After sharing his concerns with the publication’s leadership, Spindle notes that Semafor removed the Chevron advertisements from his emailed climate newsletter, but the Chevron ads never left his stories, which Spindle adds ‘they often appeared as the sole advertiser.'”

Read more here. A Semafor spokeswoman provided the following statement: “We decided to part ways with Bill due to issues that were unrelated to any advertising partnerships. Semafor adheres to robust ad acceptability guidelines that we stand by, and that are industry standard. We did not remove advertising due to editorial requests and have a number of rotating sponsors of the climate newsletter.”

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