Gawker.com will cease its activities next week after Univision’s purchased Gawker Media for $135 million in a government ordered auction. Founder Nick Denton will leave after the sale. Gawker Media had to declare itself in bankrupt after Hulk Hogan won the verdict of a suit for $140 million. It was later discovered that Peter Thiel was secretly financing the lawsuit. Gawker.com wrote that Thiel was gay in the past.
After nearly fourteen years of business, Gawker.com will be closed next week, and its founder Nick Denton will have to leave due to a non-compete agreement with Univision.The news portal staff -eleven writers and editors working full-time- apparently will be assigned to the other six websites that are part of Gawker Media or elsewhere within Univision. Among Gawker’s sites is Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Jezebel, and Deadspin.
According to Forbes, Denton said in a memo to his staff that they tried to sell the website to another company, but the campaign against Gawker.com mounted by Peter Thiel made it too risky to buyers. Ziff was the original bidder for Gawker, and it had arranged for a provision that let Denton stay in the company in a two-year consulting capacity. But Univision was the one that bought the company, and they did not want to work with Gawker.com’s founder.
Peter Thiel, PayPal co-founder, was secretly financing the lawsuit that sought to shut down Gawker.com, and he made it. In 2007, Gawker.com published an article where they say that Thiel was gay. Thiel told The New York Times that after Gawker.com had made public their opinion about his sexuality, he realized that the site had a unique and incredible damaging way of attracting its public attentions by bullying people, even where there was no connection with the public interest.
Gawker.com published videos of Hulk Hogan having sex with a woman, and the company paid a high price.
Terry Bollea, better known as Hulk Hogan, issued a lawsuit against Gawker.com after the website posted in 2013 a story with videos of him having sex with his friend’s wife.
Hogan suited the site for an invasion of privacy and earlier this year, in May, Gawker Media lost the lawsuit with a $140 million jury verdict. A judge in Florida dined Gawker’s motion for a new trial, which means that damages will be not be reduced.
The company had to file for bankruptcy, which allowed Univision to buy Gawker Media on Tuesday. Later on, it was discovered that Peter Thiel was financially supporting Hogan’s lawsuit against the website that called him gay in 2007.
According to Forbes, Gawker is currently appealing the verdict, but the process could take years. Denton stated in his memo to the staff that even if the appeals court views the case, Peter Thiel already fulfill many of his objectives, the website is shutting down. Currently, both sides are reportedly engaged in settlements talks.
According to Gawker.com note, near-term plans for Gawker.com’s coverage and its site’s archives have not yet been finished.