Gawker will shut down next week

Gawker will cease publication next week. The site reported on its own demise:

After nearly fourteen years of operation, will be shutting down next week…

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.

Under pressure to come up with $140 million to cover the judgment in the Hulk Hogan (aka Terry Bollea) sex-tape case, Gawker Media put itself up for sale. Univision made a deal to buy the company for $135 million earlier this week but there wasn’t much interest in Gawker itself. Univision was more interested in the offshoot brands, e.g. Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jalopnik etc. Politico reports:

During the Tuesday auction, Univision indicated that it might not be interested in acquiring As a result, the terms of the proposed deal gave Univision the option to exclude from the list of Gawker Media assets that it is purchasing. Univision can exercise this option up to three days before the sale closes.

Despite closing Gawker, the deal with Univision includes a commitment to retain most of the staff. From CNN Money:

In a meeting on Tuesday, Gawker Media executive editor John Cook assured anxious staffers that they will have a job at the company, be it at one of the other six sites or elsewhere at Univision, according to an employee who was present at the meeting.

Founder Nick Denton will not be making the move to Univision. The collapse of Gawker has been controversial because the Hulk Hogan lawsuit was backed by billionaire Peter Thiel who had a personal grievance against Gawker for outing him as gay back in 2007. Thiel wrote a piece for the NY Times Monday defending his decision and promising to stick with Hogan/Bollea through any appeals of the judgment.

Gawker’s editor-in-chief posted this tweet Thursday: