December 18, 2017
Staffers of Gawker.com were informed by Denton on Thursday afternoon.
Gawker.com, the flagship blog of Gawker Media, will shut down next week after 14 years of operation, the latest fallout from the $140 million judgment from a lawsuit filed by former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan.
The decision, reported by Gawker.com Thursday, comes a day after Univision Communications agreed to buy Gawker Media’s assets — mostly its six other blogs — for $135 million in a bankruptcy auction held Thursday.
Its bid beat out Ziff Davis’ competing $131 million bid. Gawker Media, founded by British journalist and entrepreneur Nick Denton, filed for bankruptcy protection in June after the jury’s decision. Denton, who’s also CEO and principal shareholder of Gawker Media, also subsequently filed for bankruptcy protection.
The closure of Gawker.com, known for its snarky and pugnacious coverage of politicians, celebrities and media personalities, will be cheered by some of its critics as a swift comeuppance for a blog that not only didn’t pull punches but overextended them. Others, including media ethicists, will interpret it as a chilling repercussion of the threats to the First Amendment posed by third-party funded lawsuits.
Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued Gawker Media earlier this year for invasion of privacy after Gawker.com published in 2012 a video of him having sex with his former best friend’s wife. It was later revealed that his lawsuit was funded by Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire who was the subject of a salacious article on Gawker.com — “Peter Thiel is totally gay, people.”
Staffers of Gawker.com were informed by Denton on Thursday afternoon. Plans for its archives have not been finalized, Gawker.com reported.
Gawker Media declined to comment. Univision couldn’t immediately be reached for comment.
A bankruptcy court in New York, which has to approve any deals for Gawker’s assets, will consider Univision’s bid at a hearing scheduled for 2 P.M. Thursday.
Univision’s bid “contemplated, but did not assure, that Gawker.com would be shuttered,” according to bankruptcy research firm Reorg Research.
The six other Gawker Media blogs that will be rolled into Univision’s digital media business include: Lifehacker (tips); Deadspin (sports); Jezebel (women’s interests); Kotaku (gaming); Jalopnik (cars), and Gizmodo (technology).
Source: USA Today