- The defunct gossip blog Gawker has a new owner.
- Bryan Goldberg, who founded Bustle and Bleacher Report, put in the winning $US1.35 million bid for Gawker.com in an auction held Thursday in Manhattan, the New York Post reported.
- Gawker shuttered in August 2016 after a lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan and funded by Peter Thiel bankrupted its publisher, Gawker Media.
- Hogan is entitled to as much as 45% of the sale price, the Observer reported.
Nearly two years after a legal battle with Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel shuttered Gawker, the storied and snarky gossip blog has a new owner.
Rights to the defunct Gawker.com domain name, its social-media accounts, and its story archives will go to Bryan Goldberg, the founder of Bleacher Reporter and Bustle, a representative for Goldberg confirmed.
Goldberg, 35, 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 $US175 million.
Two years later, he launched Bustle, a site aimed at millennial women. Bustle Digital Group, which is venture-backed, was last valued at $US181.5 million in 2017, according to PitchBook.
Gawker 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 and a network of other sites, to file for bankruptcy protection in June 2016. Gawker had lost a $US140 million lawsuit against Hulk Hogan in a prolonged legal battle funded by Peter Thiel, a venture capitalist and Facebook board member.
The Observer reported earlier this week that Hogan is entitled to 45% of the sale price as part of the Gawker Media bankruptcy settlement. At the reported sale price of $US1.35 million, Hogan would take in about $US607,000.
The professional wrestler, whose real name is Terry Bollea, sued the media company after it published a nearly two-minute clip from a sex tape involving him.
Following the judgment, Gawker Media sold off its six other properties – Gizmodo, Jezebel, Kotaku, Deadspin, Lifehacker, and io9 – to the Spanish-language media company Univision for $US135 million.
But things haven’t gone so well at Univision, which said on Tuesday that it was exploring the potential sale of the former Gawker Media blogs.
Representatives for Goldberg, Thiel, and Hogan did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.