- The defunct gossip blog Gawker.com has a new owner.
- Bustle and Bleacher Report founder Bryan Goldberg put in the winning $1.13 million bid for the website in an auction held Thursday in Manhattan, according to the Wall Street Journal.
- Gawker.com shuttered in August 2016 after a lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan and funded by Peter Thiel bankrupted its publisher, Gawker Media.
- Hogan is reportedly entitled to as much as 45% of the sale price.
Nearly two years after a legal battle with Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel shuttered Gawker.com, the storied and snarky gossip blog has a new owner.
Rights to the now-defunct Gawker.com domain name, its social media accounts, and its story archives will go to Bryan Goldberg, founder of Bleacher Reporter and Bustle, according to the Wall Street Journal. Goldberg’s $1.13 million won out at an auction held Thursday in Mahnattan, according to the report.
Goldberg first came onto the media scene in 2007 when he founded the sports blog Bleacher Report. In 2012, he sold Bleacher Report to Time Warner for $175 million in 2012.
Two years later, he launched Bustle, a site aimed at Millennial women. Bustle Media Group, which is venture backed, was last valued at $181.5 million in 2017, according to PitchBook.
Gawker.com shuttered after a legal battle with Hulk Hogan
The sale of Gawker.com comes two years after a legal battled forced Gawker Media, the publisher of Gawker.com and a network of other sites, to file for bankruptcy in June 2016. Gawker lost a $140 million lawsuit against Hulk Hogan in a prolonged legal battle funded by venture capitalist and Facebook board member Peter Thiel.
According to a recent story by the Observer, Hogan is entitled to 45% of the selling price as part of the Gawker Media bankruptcy settlement. At the reported sale price of $1.13 million, Hogan would take in about $565,000.
The professional wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued the media company after it published a 1 min, 41 second clip from sex tape involving Bollea.
Following the judgement, Gawker Media sold off its six other properties – Gizmodo, Jezebel, Kotaku, Deadspin, Lifehacker and io9 – to the Spanish-language media company Univision for $135 million.
But things haven’t gone so well at Univision, which said on Tuesday that it’s exploring the potential sale of the former Gawker Media blogs.
We’ve reached out to representives for Goldberg, Thiel, and Hogan for comment.