Gawker Media Was Saved, But Gawker.com Is Over – Huffington Post
Gawker.com, which punctured the egos of media executives and celebrities and injected a much-imitated snarky tone into internet writing, will shut down after 14 years of operation, the website announced Thursday.
Univision, the Spanish-language broadcaster and digital publisher, agreed to purchase Gawker Media’s stable of sites for $135 million in a bankruptcy auction held this week. The deal is expected to be approved Thursday.
But the flagship site, Gawker.com, apparently didn’t fit into Univision’s plans. The publisher has made a big push into the millennial digital space through the acquisitions of The Root and The Onion and the takeover of Fusion, of which it had owned half. It will continue to operate six other former Gawker Media properties: Gizmodo, Deadspin, Jezebel, Kotaku, Lifehacker and Jalopnik.
In a Thursday memo to staff, Gawker Media founder Nick Denton said he was relieved to have found “the best possible harbor” for the six sites through the deal with Univision, and announced that he would be leaving the company.
“Sadly, neither I nor Gawker.com, the buccaneering flagship of the group I built with my colleagues, are coming along for this next stage,” Denton wrote. “Desirable though the other properties are, we have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing also to take on Gawker.com. The campaign being mounted against its editorial ethos and former writers has made it too risky. I can understand the caution.”
Gawker.com staffers were uncertain in recent days whether Univision would continue operating the site, which triggered a high-profile lawsuit that bankrupted the company and may have made the Gawker brand too toxic for some advertisers. Denton was forced to sell the company after losing a $140 million invasion of privacy lawsuit leveled by Terry Bollea (professionally known as Hulk Hogan) and financed by billionaire PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel.
Over the past 14 years, Gawker.com has been an incubator for talent in the media industry, and journalists quickly mourned the site’s closing on Twitter.