Gawker.com is going to shut down as its parent company is sold to Univision, a reporter for the 14-year-old site said Thursday.
A Gawker report Thursday said that Nick Denton, Gawker’s founder, told staffers that Gawker.com was ending on Thursday afternoon.
Univision, the Spanish-language broadcaster, is buying Gawker Media for $135 million out of bankruptcy in the aftermath of a $140 million judgment against it in the Hulk Hogan invasion-of-privacy case. Gawker Media went into bankruptcy protection after the verdict, and a judge has to approve the sale at a hearing Thursday.
The company has other blogs apart from its namesake, including the women-focused Jezebel, tech-oriented Gizmodo and sports site Deadspin. Univision is interested in those properties as it seeks a more youthful audience than that commanded by broadcast TV.
Gawker.com’s shutdown comes after it was gunned for by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who had secretly bankrolled Hogan’s lawsuit. Thiel was outed as gay by a Gawker-owned website in 2007. His push against Gawker raised concerns about wealthy people covertly working to undermine media companies they didn’t like.
Gawker’s style was influential throughout publishing. It was initially a breezy, insider-y chronicler of the media that made it a must-read for many in the industry. In later years it branched out into salacious stories of all kinds but still enjoyed needling establishment figures in media and technology.
Denton, a former Financial Times journalist, for now does not plan on going to Univision.