This. Each Gawker blog is independently run, with (as I understand it) fairly little corporate oversight. The tone of the blog will depend entirely on the managing editor. Because of that, Jalopnik (and most of its sub-blogs, such as Black Flag, Lanesplitter, etc) has a very friendly and upbeat atmosphere, and are actively anti-clickbait. Jezebel, Deadspin, etc are more like tabloids; the managing editors think that controversy is what drives clicks, so that's what they focus on. Gizmodo is a fairly decent tech block now, but Sploid (one of Giz's sub-blogs) is utter trash written as if by a wide-eyed 8 year old, who thinks everything is 'magic' and 'mind blowing'. Not too long ago, Gizmodo used to have more articles about marijuana than technology; Why? Because the managing editor appeared to be a pot head*.
The Gawker network employs a lot of bad editors. Even the good blogs have some poor management (constantly firing good, talented writers without explanation), but that's the root problem.
*Purely speculative, based on the fact that the marijuana articles ended when they got a new managing editor. Perhaps the old editor wasn't pro marijuana, but he had a bad way of showing it, if so.