After losing a lengthy trial brought forth by Hulk Hogan that caused the company to file for bankruptcy and then go up for sale only to be purchased by Univision just this week, Gawker.com has announced that it will cease operation next week. In an announcement on the Gawker website, the decision was made following the sale to Univision:
After nearly fourteen years of operation, Gawker.com will be shutting down next week. The decision to close Gawker comes days after Univision successfully bid $135 million for Gawker Media’s six other websites, and four months after the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel revealed his clandestine legal campaign against the company.
Nick Denton, the company’s outgoing CEO, informed current staffers of the site’s fate on Thursday afternoon, just hours before a bankruptcy court in Manhattan will decide whether to approve Univision’s bid for Gawker Media’s other assets. The near-term plans for Gawker.com’s coverage, as well as the site’s archives, have not yet been finalized.
Word surfaced from a New York Times reporter just before the announcement that Univision did not intend to keep the Gawker website in operation after its purchase was finalized:
Per a source, Univision does "not intend to keep operating https://t.co/LnSLztd8Sr."
— Sydney Ember (@melbournecoal) August 18, 2016
The decision does not effect Gawker’s other properties including Deadspin, Gizmodo and Jezebel. Most of its staff will be kept on board, however, publisher Nick Denton will be leaving once the sale is final. But it’s certainly marks an end to Gawker.com which like it or not, came in with guns blazing marking a new era in online media.
One can debate Gawker’s merits during its 13 years in operation, but it its heyday, it covered gossip with a vengeance. And the site certainly had its enemies with the aforementioned Peter Thiel whom the site outed in 2007 and he bided his time, waiting for the opportunity in Hulk Hogan in hopes of finally bringing Gawker.com down.
When the two bidders for Gawker’s assets, Ziff Davis and Univision presented their offers to purchase the company, both said they would likely cease Gawker.com because it was “toxic.” There’s no word at this time on what will happen to the site’s archives and whether Univision will allow visitors to access them in the future.