Business

Gawker.com announces it is shutting down

Gawker.com says it is shutting down, with the news coming just two days after Univision Holdings Inc. won a bankruptcy auction to buy parent company Gawker Media LLC for $135 million US.

Gawker Media sought bankruptcy after a court awarded $140M US judgment to Hulk Hogan

Gawker Media owns seven websites, including Gawker.com, which will cease operations next week. (Gawker.com)

Gawker.com is shutting down, with the news coming just two days after Univision Holdings Inc. won a bankruptcy auction to buy parent company Gawker Media LLC for $135 million US.

In a story posted Thursday on its website, Gawker.com says it will close next week after nearly 14 years of operation.

Gawker.com said Nick Denton, the company's outgoing CEO, told staff of the site's fate on Thursday afternoon, prior to a bankruptcy court hearing in Manhattan that approved U.S. Spanish-language broadcaster Univision's bid for Gawker Media's other assets, which include tech site Gizmodo, feminist-focused Jezebel, sports site Deadspin, Kotaku, Jalopnik and Lifehacker.   

Gawker Media founder Nick Denton told staff at Gawker.com on Thursday that the site will be shutting down. (Steve Nesius/Associated Press)

"The near-term plans for Gawker.com's coverage, as well as the site's archives, have not yet been finalized," Gawker.com said.

In a memo to Gawker.com's staff that was obtained by The Associated Press, Denton said he is exiting the news business.

"I will move on to other projects, working to make the web a forum for the open exchange of ideas and information, but out of the news and gossip business," he said.

Gawker Media sought bankruptcy protection in June after a court awarded a $140-million US judgment to former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan after he brought an invasion of privacy lawsuit over the publication of excerpts from a sex tape of Hogan having sex with a friend's wife.

Hogan was secretly backed by Peter Thiel, a Silicon Valley billionaire who was a PayPal founder and early Facebook investor. Thiel had been outed as gay on the Gawker website in 2007.

Denton filed for personal bankruptcy earlier this month following the award to Hogan.

"The real shame is that Gawker gave Hogan a sledgehammer with which [to] pulverize it in state court," New York University journalism professor Adam Penenberg tweeted. "If you want to ascribe blame, blame Denton."

With files from The Associated Press

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