Thanks to Hulk Hogan and his benefactor Peter Thiel, Gawker.com is set to shut down after 14 years of operation. CEO Nick Denton made the announcement on Thursday afternoon, saying that the decision “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.”
Nice job, assholes.
Univision will acquire Gawkers six subsites: Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and Kotaku. However, they “will not be operating the Gawker.com site.”
“Desirable though the other properties are, we have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing also to take on Gawker.com. The campaign being mounted against its editorial ethos and former writers has made it too risky. I can understand the caution,” Denton said in his staff memo.
Denton previously told CNBC that Gawker “employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership” and that the company “could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism.”
Their near-term plans regarding what will happen with Gawker’s coverage and archives have not been finalized.
As you may or may not recall (or care about), Gawker outed Thiel as gay some nine years ago and he has since made it his mission to destroy the media site. His funding of lawsuits against Gawker included his $10 million backing of the Hulk Hogan case, leading to a $140 million judgment against Gawker.
According to Denton Gawker’s bloggers “have introduced a new style of journalism, sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes snarky, but always authentic.” This is a sentiment that’s echoed by others in the field, but not everyone is so keen on their style and how it has changed the journalistic landscape.
“We connect with a skeptical and media-savvy generation by giving them the real story, the version that journalists used to keep to themselves,” Denton continued.
He then ended his memo by quoting Harrison Ford’s Blade Runner, which they’re making a sequel of with Ford, Jared Leto and Ryan Gosling.
“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.'”