×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Gawker Media Files for Bankruptcy, Setting Up Potential Sale

Gawker Media filed for bankruptcy protection in a New York court on Friday, a move that could pave the way for the troubled digital property to be acquired by Ziff Davis.

The owner of properties including IGN and AskMen has reportedly already bid in the neighborhood of $100 million for Gawker, which lost a $140 million jury verdict in the Hulk Hogan trial that has since been upheld. The companies announced a purchase agreement shortly after the Chapter 11 filing went public but an auction is expected to be open to other bidders.

Denton, who is expected to file for personal bankruptcy as well, issued a statement hailing a potential marriage with Ziff Davis. “We have been forced by this litigation to give up our longstanding independence, but our writers remain committed to telling the true stories that underpin credibility with our millions of readers,” he said. “With stronger backing and disentangled from litigation, they can perform their vital work on more platforms and in different forms.”

“We look forward to the possibility of adding these great brands – and the talented people who support them – to the Ziff Davis family,” wrote Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah in a memo distributed to his company.

Filing for bankruptcy protection was largely expected once Gawker lost its previous bid to appeal that verdict. Investment bank Houlihan Loukey had already been helping Gawker founder and CEO Nick Denton explore his options for the digital publisher, which is also backed by Columbus Nova Technology Partners.

Putting up the company for auction could help finance Gawker’s legal costs; Hogan had the benefit of backing from Silicon Valley mogul Peter Thiel, who has helped finance his legal effort, as was revealed last month. The company will continue to operate even while in Chapter 11.

In addition, Gawker filed a bankruptcy lawsuit against Hogan and other parties that have sued the company to defend the company from having to pay should they lose in any of those legal proceedings.

Ziff Davis joins a list of other companies rumored to be kicking the tires on Gawker, including Univision and Vox. Variety parent company Penske Media Corporation has also been reported as a potential acquirer, but a spokesperson for the company denied that any such negotiations were ever held.

Traffic for Gawker Media, which includes brands ranging from Deadspin to Gizmodo, hit a 29-month low in April, with the flagship Gawker brand sinking to its smallest audience in three years.

Tellingly, the Gawker.com brand was not cited by Shah as one of the properties he valued, which opens the possibility that the site could be shuttered if Ziff Davis completed the acquisition.

More Digital

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music’s Free Tier Is More Advertising Play Than Spotify Killer, Analysts Say

    When news began to spread last week that Amazon Music’s long-anticipated free streaming tier was imminent, headlines emerged about its threat to Spotify and Apple Music, with some stories saying that Spotify’s stock price dropped in response to the news. But not only was today’s launch of the free tier basically a soft one — [...]

  • Gay Chorus Deep South

    Why Airbnb Produced Documentary 'Gay Chorus Deep South,' Its First-Ever Film (EXCLUSIVE)

    The latest player to hit the film-festival circuit may be a bit unexpected: Airbnb, the travel-accommodations booking marketplace, developed, financed and produced documentary film “Gay Chorus Deep South,” set to premiere at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival on April 29. It’s the company’s very first feature film. Directed by David Charles Rodrigues, “Gay Chorus Deep [...]

  • Amazon

    Amazon Music Launches Free Streaming Tier, Through Alexa Only (for Now)

    Amazon Music today basically soft-launched its free streaming tier, in which U.S. customers of its Alexa voice assistant will have access to top Amazon Music playlists and thousands of stations, at no cost. The limited access that the new free service provides — it’s only available through Alexa, and when the listener requests a song, [...]

  • Ben Silbermann, Evan Sharp. Pinterest co-founder

    Pinterest Shares Up Close to 29% on IPO Day

    Shares of the social pinning service Pinterest closed at $24.45 — 28.6% above their IPO price — on the company’s first day at the New York Stock Exchange Thursday as investors were looking to get in on the latest tech listing. Pinterest’s shares opened at $23.75, 25% above the IPO pricing of $19 per share, [...]

  • Netflix Logo

    Netflix to Open Production Hub, Expand Offices in New York City

    Netflix plans to move into a bigger new office in Manhattan and open a Brooklyn production hub — all told, bringing up to $100 million in investments to New York City and resulting in hundreds of new jobs, according to New York State Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. Netflix’s new corporate offices in the Big Apple [...]

  • MoviePass card

    MoviePass Has Lost Over 90% of Its Subscribers in Less Than a Year (Report)

    MoviePass users apparently hit the exits en masse after it scaled back the number of movies users could see each month: The flailing cinema-subscription provider has seen its subscriber rolls plunge from a peak of more than 3 million to just 225,000 in under a year, according to a new report. The numbers were reported [...]

  • The Nashville, Tenn. downtown area and

    Nashville City Council Sides With Songwriters Against Streamers’ CRB Appeal

    Nashville city leaders have sided against the streaming services Amazon, Spotify, Google and SiriusXM/Pandora in the appeal of the Copyright Royalty Board’s decision that would give songwriters a pay raise. The Nashville Metro Council adopted the resolution as part of its consent agenda earlier this week, although the move is “purely symbolic” and the streamers [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content