Gawker Media—responsible for blogs like Deadspin, io9, and Jezebel—filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy Friday as a result of Hulk Hogan's successful lawsuit against it, the Wall Street Journal reports. According to Recode, Gawker will be put up for auction, with the first bid coming in at less than $100 million from Ziff Davis LLC. The bankruptcy declaration allows Gawker to continue operation and for its employees to keep getting paychecks pending the sale. Higher bids are expected to come in for Gawker, which founder Nick Denton valued at between $250 million and $300 million. Ziff Davis, which itself declared bankruptcy in 2008 when the print industry tanked, operates AskMen, PCMag, IGN, and others.
Hogan sued Gawker for publishing part of a sex tape featuring him and a friend's wife in 2012. But it was recently discovered that tech billionaire Peter Thiel had been secretly funding the lawsuit as way of punishing Gawker for items written about him. With the bankruptcy declaration, Recode states Thiel—who described his funding of Hogan's lawsuit as "philanthropic"—is "getting closer to his goal." Denton says that sets a precedent for wealthy individuals to destroy publications they disagree with. In March, a jury awarded Hogan $140 million. CNBC reports Gawker has assets of $50 million to $100 million with liabilities between $100 million and $500 million. (Read more Gawker stories.)