Gawker.com will close up shop next week after fourteen years in operation, the company announced on Thursday. Gawker was unable to recover from a protracted and ultimately disastrous legal fight with former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan who sued Gawker over its release of a sex tape featuring Hogan. Hogan’s lawsuit was funded by homocon billionaire Peter Thiel who had a score to settle with the media company founded by Nick Denton over its ‘outing’ of him in 2007.
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Gawker was found liable in the Hogan sex tape case to the tune of $140 million, an amount that ultimately led to the company’s bankruptcy.
Via Gawker’s official announcement:
After nearly fourteen years of operation, Gawker.com will be shutting down next week. The decision to close Gawker comes days after Univision successfully bid $135 million for Gawker Media’s six other websites, and four months after the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel revealed his clandestine legal campaign against the company.
Nick Denton, the company’s outgoing CEO, informed current staffers of the site’s fate on Thursday afternoon, just hours before a bankruptcy court in Manhattan will decide whether to approve Univision’s bid for Gawker Media’s other assets. The near-term plans for Gawker.com’s coverage, as well as the site’s archives, have not yet been finalized.
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Members of the media reacted to the news on Twitter.
— Rich Juzwiak (@RichJuz) August 18, 2016
End of an era — https://t.co/WjyAwZsQ8S to end operations next week https://t.co/awqOJgXnY4 pic.twitter.com/xSxUf4IFMJ
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) August 18, 2016
— Calvin (@calvinstowell) August 18, 2016