US internet publisher Gawker Media Group said it will shut down Gawker.com next week, ending the online news and gossip website’s 14-year run.
The decision comes two days after Univision Holdings won a bankruptcy auction to acquire Gawker for US$135 million, outbidding media company Ziff Davis, Reuters reports.
Univision’s winning bid for Gawker was scheduled to go before a US bankruptcy judge.
Gawker – which also operates popular women’s website Jezebel, tech blog Gizmodo and gaming website Kotaku – said near-term plans for the website’s coverage and archives have not yet been finalized.
“Our other sites, including Kotaku, live on, but losing the vibrant Gawker.com hurts,” tweeted Stephen Totilo, editor-in-chief of Kotaku.
Gawker sought bankruptcy in June after facing a US$140 million court judgment following an invasion of privacy lawsuit from former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, over the publication of excerpts from a sex tape.
Gawker, which is known for its snarky celebrity and media industry gossip, had published a one-minute, 41-second edited video in 2012 featuring Hogan having sex with the wife of his then-best friend, radio “shock jock” personality Bubba the Love Sponge.
Hogan’s lawsuit was bankrolled by billionaire investor Peter Thiel, after Gawker in 2007 published an article about Thiel’s homosexuality.
The company’s founder Nick Denton filed for personal bankruptcy this month to also seek protection from the judgment.
In a memo to staff, Denton said Gawker’s bloggers “have introduced a new style of journalism, sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes snarky, but always authentic”, CNBC reported.
“We connect with a skeptical and media-savvy generation by giving them the real story, the version that journalists used to keep to themselves,” he said.
“As the short-lived killer android is told in Blade Runner: ‘The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly.’”
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