Above the Line Editor Jeff Sneider has abruptly quit.
In 2022, Jeff stepped in as the interim editor for Below the Line, now fully under the editorial control and direction of Jack Giroux, before stepping into the role of Above the Line‘s initial editor, using his sources to provide a good launching point.
I would love to extend my general appreciation for Jeff and his work, but I let my inner belief that people are best when respected and allowed to do their jobs get the better of me. I should have let Jeff separate from our company months ago, and I publicly apologize to my senior staff for waiting until the ‘inevitable’ happened.
As we tried to finalize someone to replace Jeff as editor at Above the Line, transitioning him to a position as Senior Writer, he viciously attacked her on social media, forcing her to give up her account to stop such attacks. I don’t know how to fully deal with how vicious Jeff behaved towards her, especially given the fact they had never met or talked. It was just an unprovoked attack on a hard-working journalist, who did not deserve to be the recipient of Jeff’s bile and invective. For that, I’m deeply sorry to her.
As far as money goes, Jeff is owed no more or less than the average person working freelance for a company that is coming out of an industry-wide shutdown.
I give Jeff all the credit he deserves for helping out with editorial heavy-lifting at Below the Line and the launch of Above the Line, but his interpersonal skills and constant warring with the studios that pay all of our bills has become legendary, regrettable and impossible to separate or excuse from such a senior member of our staff. His most recent behavior will require quite a bit of fence-mending.
Without any directive from myself and without even informing me, Jeff recently asked our entire writing staff to put down their “pencils” and stop writing for Above the Line. By quitting so abruptly and deliberately and effectively burning the bridge behind him, he has left Above the Line high and dry with no editor and no writers. It’s important to know this in case you see a drop in content over the next few weeks.
The despicable nature of inside baseball is always the same: it’s horrible when it involves you or your company, and just the greatest thing ever when it involves your competitor or someone that ‘did you wrong 25 years ago’. For such a small industry, we sure love a good dumpster fire to help us forget our own problems, for which there seem to be many.
All of us work in an incredibly cynical industry filled with very questionable characters at every level. Once you’ve been in an industry for any amount of time, you recognize this fact and either decide you can swim in this shark-filled, well-maintained pool or you move away to the more respectable, upright and less soul-compromising world of something akin to politics or family law.
At this point, it’s perfunctory in rare stories like this to wish the subject of the story “Good luck” or the like. I wish Jeff luck finding help to understand why he constantly and consistently bites the hand(s) that feed him.
Above the Line will find another Editor — feel free to send me your resumés — and our 23-year-old publishing company will continue to do the work of covering the industry in the manner we see fit and best serves our readers and advertising customers.
Publisher, Above the Line and Below the Line