Publisher of The Toast Nick Pavich Is Out for Murky Reasons


Jezebel has learned that Nicholas Pavich has left The Toast, a popular lady site frequented by post-structuralist art history fans, where he served as publisher since January 2013. Pavich’s tenure at the blog apparently ended over some vague but certainly bad blood between him and its co-founders, Mallory Ortberg and Nicole Cliffe.

After hearing murmurs Pavich had left after he’d misbehaved in some way, we reached out to Ortberg, who responded, “I can confirm that Nick Pavich is no longer with the Toast. We’re working with a third-party publishing company (Hashtag Labs) while we look for another full-time publisher. Not much has or will change for our readers, except for that Nicole Callahan is now handling payments, which Nick used to do.”

When we asked if Pavich was out due to bad behavior, Ortberg responded, “I think that is all that I can say for now, so I will leave it at that!”*

Pavich has not acknowledged our attempts to contact him.

Before becoming the publisher of The Toast, Pavich worked as a criminal defense attorney in Chicago for 15 years. In 2012, his law license was temporarily suspended for allegedly defrauding his clients. According to the Illinois Supreme Court disciplinary records, Pavich neglected a client’s breach of contract claim and falsely told the client that the claim had been settled. The same court later ruled to extend Pavich’s suspension until further notice. Neither Pavich nor an attorney representing him appeared at his initial disciplinary hearing in March 2012.

As publisher, Pavich came under fire late last year, when the website Writer Beware called out The Toast’s freelance contract for unfairly retaining all copyrights to published works. When writers lobbed complaints about the contract to Pavich’s twitter feed, Pavich responded like this:

Pavich later apologized for his mean tweets.

*This quote originally read: “Oh man, absolutely, I’m glad you got in touch. I think that is all that I can say for now, so I will leave it at that!”. Ortberg sent us an email after this story ran to clarify that when she wrote, “Oh, man absolutely,” it was in reference to my email that began “Thanks for getting back to me,” not in reference to accusations about Pavich.

J.K. Trotter helped report this story.

Image via The Toast.

Contact the author at [email protected].

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