Gawker sold for 1.35 million; The Onion, Jezebel & other Gizmodo sites are for sale
Gawker.com has been sold – to Bryan Goldberg, owner of women’s blog Bustle and founder of sports site The Bleacher Report. As The New York Post reports, Goldberg purchased the site for just 1.35 million at auction on Thursday (7/12), bidding against Long Island advertising and marketing firm Didit and another marketing firm, Next Net Media. Gawker had an estimated value of $100 million before Hulk Hogan sued them for posting a sex tape in 2012 and was awarded a $140 million verdict. Billionaire Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel was revealed to have funded the lawsuit, and Gawker settled with Hogan for $31 million cash, with founder Nick Denton filing for bankruptcy.
In an internal email obtained by News Channel 21 KTVZ, Goldberg said Gawker will be acquired “under a new holding company, separate from Bustle.” He continued:
You are probably wondering what happens next,” he said in the email, which was obtained by CNN. “The short is this — not much. We have no immediate plans to re-launch Gawker. For now, things will stay as they are. I’m very excited about the possibilities for the future of Gawker. I will share more in the months ahead
The rest of the Gawker Media properties, including Jezebel, Gizmodo, Deadspin, and The Root, were sold to Univision in 2016 for $135 million – they opted not to purchase Gawker itself, calling it toxic. Now, less than two years later, Univision is exploring the sale of those sites, along with its stake in The Onion, which includes The A.V. Club and Clickhole. As Variety reports, Univision has “initiated a formal process to explore the sale,” releasing a statement that reads:
The company determined that pursuing a sale of GMG and The Onion collectively will allow UCI to focus on its core assets and further strengthen UCI’s position as the No. 1 media company serving U.S. Hispanics, while enabling both GMG and The Onion even greater opportunities to grow under new ownership.
Meanwhile, The Root has reached out to Beyonce and Jay-Z for help:
Dear Beyoncé and Jay-Z,
Boy, do I have a deal for you! I’d like to present you with the opportunity to own a slightly used, factory-refurbished media organization with more than 100 million visitors per month!