Gawker Auction Elicits Bids from Ziff Davis, Univision (Report)

Gawker Media, forced into bankruptcy proceedings after being handed a $140 million judgment in an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan, has received bids for its assets from two companies — Ziff Davis and Univision Communications, according to a Bloomberg report.

Ziff Davis had previously disclosed its interest in acquiring Gawker. The tech and gaming publisher, whose digital properties include PC Magazine, ExtremeTech and IGN, submitted a “stalking horse” bid of at least $90 million for Gawker. It’s not clear what Univision bid for Gawker.

“We look forward to the possibility of adding these great brands – and the talented people who support them – to the Ziff Davis family,” Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah wrote in a memo to staff in June, when its bid for Gawker was announced. It’s possible that Ziff Davis could shut down the flagship Gawker.com site if it wins the auction, and instead focus on other properties like Gizmodo and Deadspin.

A Univision rep declined to comment. Results of the Gawker bankruptcy auction could be announced later Tuesday.

Popular on Variety

For Univision, Gawker would build up the Hispanic media giant’s holdings in the digital arena as it continues to seek younger audiences. Univision has taken over full control of the millennial-targeted Fusion cable and digital news venture (after Disney exited the partnership), and in January bought a controlling stake in satire and comedy producer the Onion. Other Univision-owned digital brands include the Root and Flama.

In a related development, Gawker founder and CEO Nick Denton filed for personal bankruptcy protection earlier this month. The Hogan lawsuit was funded in part by PayPal co-founder and billionaire Peter Thiel, who remains angry that Gawker outed him as gay in a 2007 article. Thiel has defended his previously secret backing of the Hogan suit as a check on media organizations that publish individuals’ private info.

In March, a Florida jury awarded Hogan $115 million after ruling that Gawker violated Hogan’s right to privacy by posting excerpts from his sex tape in 2012. Hogan received an additional $25 million in punitive damages a few days later.

More Digital

  • ‘Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series

    ‘RuPaul’s Drag Race’ Producers Greenlight Two Docu-Series for SVOD (EXCLUSIVE)

    “RuPaul’s Drag Race” producer World of Wonder has greenlit two docu-series: “God Shave the Queens!” and an “Untitled Trinity Taylor Pageant Project.” The announcement will be made Sunday at the first-ever DragCon U.K. convention, which is taking place at Olympia, London. “God Shave the Queens!” features the first-ever cast of “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and [...]

  • VRrOOm Launching VR Platform for Immersive,

    VRrOOm to Launch VR Platform for Immersive, Multi-User Streaming of Live Events

    French VR company VRrOOm is launching a six degrees of freedom (6-DoF) social VR platform that operates within the VRChat live platform, and enables multiple users to take part in live events, and includes the possibility of real-time photo-realistic representation. Louis Cacciuttolo founded VRrOOm in 2016 after working three years at THX in San Francisco. [...]

  • Any Given Wednesday With Bill Simmons

    Spotify in Talks to Acquire Bill Simmons' The Ringer: Report

    Spotify is in early talks to acquire The Ringer, the digital content and podcast network launched by ESPN alum Bill Simmons in 2016, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. A representative for Spotify declined to comment on the report. Reps for Ringer did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Spotify’s [...]

  • Ted Sarandos Milestone Award PGA

    Netflix Leader Ted Sarandos Plans Broader Creative Push for the Future

    Ted Sarandos, who has helped to upend the way audiences receive and consume entertainment as Netflix’s chief content officer, will be honored with the Milestone Award at the 31st annual Producers Guild Awards on Jan. 18. Game-changers including Steven Spielberg, Sherry Lansing, Robert Iger, Jeffrey Katzenberg and Ron Meyer have previously received the recognition, and [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content