Univision Bought Gawker Only to Kill Gawker

Though Gawker's other sites will be spared
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 18, 2016 1:33 PM CDT
New Owner Univision Is Shuttering Gawker
Gawker founder Nick Denton leaves court in August. Univision bought the company at bankruptcy auction this week and plans to shutter the flagship site.   (Eve Edelheit/The Tampa Bay Times via AP, File)

Univision may have purchased Gawker Media for $135 million at bankruptcy auction this week, but that deal apparently didn't include Gawker itself. In a post Thursday, Gawker announced it will shut down next week. The six other Gawker-owned sites—Lifehacker, Jezebel, Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, and Kotaku—will continue to operate under Univision, but the sale agreement allowed Univision to opt out of Gawker itself, the Wall Street Journal reports. Gawker staffers will either go to one of the other sites or to positions elsewhere in Univision. According to Business Insider, employees were "cautiously hopeful" Univision would keep Gawker open.

Gawker started as a media gossip site 14 years ago and recently transitioned to more political coverage. Its staffers unionized last year, and Univison will recognize that union. It's currently unclear what will happen to Gawker's coverage or archives or CEO Nick Denton, the AP reports. Gawker was forced to declare bankruptcy after a judge awarded a $140 million verdict to Hulk Hogan. Gawker had published a portion of a sex tape featuring Hogan. It was later revealed that billionaire Peter Thiel had been waging what Gawker calls a "clandestine legal campaign" against the company, who outed him as gay in 2007. That campaign included funding numerous lawsuits against Gawker. (More Gawker stories.)

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