Gawker to Shut Down Next Week After Univision Sale, Hulk Hogan Lawsuit

Nick Denton
In this Wednesday, March 16, 2016, file photo, Gawker Media founder Nick Denton arrives in a courtroom in St. Petersburg, Fla.  AP Photo/Steve Nesius

Closing its doors. Gawker announced that its website will officially cease operations next week after its parent company, Gawker Media, was sold to Univision at a bankruptcy auction earlier this week. The business went bankrupt following the $140 million Hulk Hogan lawsuit and several other legal proceedings. 

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“After nearly fourteen years of operation, Gawker.com will be shutting down next week,” a statement on the blog read on Thursday, August 18. "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.”

The other websites — which include Deadspin, Jezebel and Gizmodo — will likely become part of Univision once the sale is finalized. 

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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,” Gawker’s announcement continued. "The near-term plans for Gawker.com’s coverage, as well as the site’s archives, have not yet been finalized.”

Since Gawker was founded in 2002, it has been an influential and game-changing media presence, and one of the first websites to make blogging profitable. While Gawker faced criticism over the years for some of its more salacious stories, it created a snarky, often-imitated writing style and captured millions of readers with content that ranged from investigative journalism to provocative, funny first-person essays.

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As previously reported, Gawker Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy after a judge ordered the company to pay $140 million in the Hulk Hogan lawsuit. The former wrestling pro filed an invasion of privacy lawsuit after the site posted a sex tape featuring Hogan in October 2012. It was later revealed that Hogan’s case was financed by Thiel because back in 2007, Gawker’s now-defunct Valleywag blog outed the PayPal cofounder as gay.

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