Soon after the news of Univision buying Gawker Media for $135 million in auction became public, followed by the announcement that flagship site Gawker would subsequently cease operations, the prevailing presumption was that outgoing founder Nick Denton would soon start up a new website that was Gawker by another name.
That presumption gained steam when Denton said in a memo to his staff that Gawker “may have a second act.”
Staff memo from Nick Denton on Gawker pic.twitter.com/wpbE78dmfQ
— Tasneem N (@TasneemN) August 18, 2016
But whatever that “second act” turns out to be, it won’t be a Gawker-like site with another media company. At least not for the next two years.
As a condition of the Gawker Media sale, Denton agreed to a non-compete clause that will prevent him from hiring or soliciting employees that now work for Univision. He will receive $16,666 a month for the next two years as part of the agreement.
That appears to be a rather lucrative deal for Denton, working out to nearly $200,000 a year. Apparently, however, that’s quite a pay cut from the salary Denton had been earning. In court papers filed to a bankruptcy judge on Friday, he referred to it as a “material reduction,” one that will force him to move into a less expensive residence.
According to The Hollywood Reporter‘s Eriq Gardner, Denton still owes $1.7 million in mortgage payments on his New York condo in the SoHo district, with monthly payments of nearly $15,000 and $3,400 in monthly association feeds.
Scoop: Here's a breakdown of where Gawker dot com writers and editors are heading next week pic.twitter.com/FQKPDjzt4a
— Tom Kludt (@TomKludt) August 19, 2016
It’s possible, however, that Denton could eventually revive Gawker. In his report, Gardner points out that if Univision decides not to keep Gawker.com, it would be left as part of Denton’s estate for him to either try and sell to another potential buyer or shelve it until after appealing the verdict in the Hulk Hogan trial.
But if Univision opts to keep Gawker and shutter the site, it could always decide to revive the site, perhaps under Denton’s guidance. Or it could sell Gawker.com back to Denton at some point. A portion of the agreement with Univision has been redacted in court documents. Interestingly, the $16,666 monthly salary is the same amount that Ziff Davis would have paid Denton as a consultant had that company won the auction bid for Gawker.