The planned restart of Gawker, the irreverent news, gossip and commentary site that was shut down in 2016, has been postponed indefinitely and staff are laid off, the site's owner, Bustle Digital Group, said Tuesday night.
Bustle Digital Group, which publishes women's interest sites like Bustle and the recently acquired Nylon, bought the Gawker.com domain last year after its parent company, Gawker Media, went bankrupt in the wake of an invasion-of-privacy suit brought by Hulk Hogan , the former professional wrestler, and bankrolled by Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire.
"We postpone the Gawker relaunch," Bustle Digital Group said in a statement. "So far, we're focusing the company's resources and efforts on our latest acquisitions, Mic, The Outline, Nylon and Inverse."
The New York Post reported the news of Gawker's recent implosion earlier on Tuesday.
Bryan Goldberg, a digital media entrepreneur who owns the Bustle Digital Group and co-founder of the sports fan website Bleacher Report, bought the Gawker name at a bankruptcy auction for $ 1.35 million last summer. Since then, the site has resisted all attempts to bring it back to life.
Founded in 2002 by Nick Denton, a reporter from The Financial Times, and had a silent tone that tried to match the way journalists talked about public figures in the after-hours talks, the consequences were condemned. The site's backers said it went too far in revealing personal details about the topics. One of them was Mr. Thiel, who was angered by a Gawker post in 2007 that reported without his permission that he was gay.
At the time the lawsuit was filed by Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, it revealed that Mr. Thiel had spent about $ 10 million to support the legal challenge. Gawker Media went bankrupt in 2016 after the court rejected it in a $ 140 million judgment.
Univision bought the Gawker Media properties – minus Gawker.com – at auction the same year. Earlier this year, Univision sold the rest of the original company, now known as G / O Media and including The Onion, Deadspin and Jezebel websites, to private equity firm Great Hill Partners.
Mr. Goldberg appointed journalist Carson Griffith as Gawker's top editor in January. The move went back shortly after, when the site's two full-time writers quit because they opposed inappropriate comments by Griffith about black writers and gender identity for a potential hire.
Ms. Griffith remained on staff after Goldberg said a review by a law firm had "cleared" her. Now, along with Mr. Perez and the rest of the little staff, Griffith is no longer with the still sleeping Gawker.