Gawker files for bankruptcy; to sell company to Ziff Davis

“Gawker Media, the gossip and news company that lost a high-profile court case in which it was ordered to pay $140 million over a violation of Hulk Hogan’s privacy, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from its creditors,” Bill Chappell reports for NPR.

“In addition to its eponymous website, Gawker operates several other popular sites, including Deadspin, Jezebel and Gizmodo,” Chappell reports. “But reports out Friday also said Gawker’s founder, Nick Denton, was trying to find a buyer for the company.”

Chappell reports, “Gawker Media Group says it has reached an agreement ‘to sell its seven media brands and other assets to Ziff Davis, a global digital media company which operates in the technology, gaming and lifestyle categories and is a subsidiary of j2 Global, Inc.'”

Read more in the full article here.

“Peter Thiel is getting closer to his goal: Gawker Media has filed for bankruptcy protection and says it eventually plans to find a new owner for the company,” Peter Kafka reports for Recode. “In a memo to employees, Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah says his company has an ‘asset purchase agreement’ to buy seven Gawker titles, and says there is a ‘tremendous fit between the two organizations.’ It is worth noting that while Shah’s memo says he intends to buy, he doesn’t list the site when describing Ziff Davis’ plans to integrate Gawker Media’s other sites.”

“Ziff Davis itself is a company that has gone through the Chapter 11 process. The company was once a dominant force in the trade and hobbyist magazine business, but its fortunes declined along with the print industry, and it filed for bankruptcy protection in 2008,” Kafka reports. “Ziff Davis now operates a tech-centric stable of digital titles, including IGN, AskMen and PCMag, that it says reaches more than 100 million readers a month.”

Read more in the full article here.

“What this means, in short: The company continues normal operations while restructuring itself, and while the highers-up do the restructuring, we’ll focus on the normal operations part,” Katie Drummond writes for Gizmodo. “For as long as science fiction continues to be produced, for as long as the Earth continues to orbit the Sun, for as long as technology companies in need of honest coverage continue to exist…so will Gizmodo and io9.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The saga continues.

What we wrote back in January 2011 after Gawker’s Valleywag outed Tim Cook:

Vendettawag… “Cook, who is running Apple in Jobs’ absence, has been as reticent to acknowledge his sexual orientation,” but Gawker will out him anyway presumably because they were – allegedly – stupid enough to purchase a lost/stolen iPhone 4 prototype and publish detailed descriptions and photos of it online and Apple punched back hard.

So, now Steve’s on medical leave and, darn, it looks like they haven’t been able to buy his X-Rays to slap all over the Web, so they’ll settle for going after Cook, couched as a “profile,” by headlining something that Cook doesn’t mention publicly, much less trumpet, and that has nothing whatsoever to do with being a top Apple executive – or anything else for that matter.

Why not just call Cook the “most powerful man in Silicon Valley next to Steve Jobs?” And, where’s the ValleyWag article about “the most powerful heterosexual man in Silicon Valley?”

Gawker, as usual, comes off as petty, vindictive, and just plain sad.

Tech billionaire Peter Thiel funded Hulk Hogan lawsuit to take down Gawker which outed him, Tim Cook, and others – May 27, 2016
Gawker’s Valleywag outs Tim Cook as ‘most powerful gay man in Silicon Valley’ – January 21, 2011

[Thanks to MacDailyNews readers too numerous to mention individually for the heads up.]


  1. Good. Maybe once they emerge from chapter 11 they will have a different take on salacious stories. They’ve gotten away with enough, and it’s time to pay the piper.

  2. Does anybody else find the report ironic as it comes from NPR — the media outlet that *would* be bankrupt if it weren’t funded by taxpayer dollars.

    1. It may be ironic or it may be more of a reflection of NPR’s private and corporate sponsors. Federal, state, and local government contributions to NPR 2013 revenue were 5 per cent.

      1. What you say may be technically true but it does not tell the whole truth. Yes, NPR doesn’t get most of its money from the federal government. It gets most of its money from selling programming to member stations. But where does that programming money come from? Oh yeah, they get their money from the federally funded Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB). So, it is taxpayer dollars after all. And the CPB has an annual budget of almost half a $billion. So, we’re not talking chump change.

        Why do you think NPR freaks every time someone talks about cutting the public broadcasting budget? Answer: Because it would hurt them in a very substantial way.

        1. So the federal government is spending, if I read your comments correctly, well under a billion dollars a year to support public broadcasting. Seems like a much better return ion the money than the typical government program.

      2. Yes, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting funds are going to the affiliates, not the network, but even at the local station level, only 11% of station revenues come from the CPB or other public broadcasting entities. An additional 5% comes from the federal, state, and local governments—which is hardly surprising, since government-related entities own most NPR stations. The bulk of the CPB money is going to stations in underserved communities, like rural areas, where the number and wealth of the listeners does not generate enough subscriber income to run the stations. Remember, almost all NPR affiliates are on non-commercial frequencies where they are prohibited from selling advertising.

        I would guess that most stations in larger media markets have a revenue breakdown like KUT/KUTX in Austin: 83% of their revenue comes from individual contributions and corporate sponsors and 9% from in-kind contributions attributable to the station’s use of facilities at the University of Texas at Austin (in return, the university gets training opportunities for their Radio-Television-Film students). Only 8% of KUT’s revenue comes from grants, and that includes all the station’s private foundation support in addition to relatively small change from the CPB and other federal sources.

  3. An asset agreement to buy seven Gawker titles while they are in bankruptcy is almost meaningless. There will be no deal until the legal problems are settled. Then and only then will the Bankruptcy Judge consider a sale. Creditors will have a say and anyone owed a judgement will long before the owners have anything to say about who gets the company and or any proceeds from a sale. The clown at Ziff-Davis going public with this saying there is a deal is a sign of incompetency/gross stupidity.

    1. Which is why is is so terrifying that we have a presidential candidate who has built his whole campaign around controlling the formerly-free press:

      —Promising, if elected, to make it easier for public figures to sue reporters who write unfavorable stories (first amendment be damned).
      —Barring media outlets who write unfavorable stories from attending events in any capacity.
      —Defining as an “unfavorable story” one that points out inconsistencies between his rapidly-altering opinions and verifiable facts.
      —Rejecting the very concept of fact checking because it so often finds that he is inaccurate. (At some point, a person who was originally just mistaken has been corrected often enough that the continued untruth becomes a deliberate lie.)
      —Herding the remaining reporters into pens where they cannot interview the people attending his rallies
      —Mocking the ethnicity, sex, or disabilities of reporters who are not sufficiently sycophantic.
      —Mocking even the reporters in the pen who are sycophantic by provoking his followers to jeer them.
      —Having “interviews” and “press conferences” where no reporter questions are actually answered.
      —Avoiding debates with reporter questions in favor of mass rallies where the message can be managed.
      —Expressing admiration for world leaders like Putin who control the press in their own countries.
      —Engaging for years in a pattern of prohibitively expensive litigation (like Peter Thiel) against critics in an effort to spend them into silence.

      If he does all that as a candidate, what might he do with the executive force of the US Government behind him? Rename the White House Press Secretary as the Minister of Truth?

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