The Hollywood Reporter
After first shutting down following a lawsuit from wrestler Hulk Hogan, the pop culture and satire website was acquired by Bustle Digital Group CEO Bryan Goldberg in the summer of 2018 for 1, $35 million. Bustle relaunched the site in July 2021, with editor Leah Finnegan at the helm.
Finnegan tweeted that the site was shutting down again.
“Well, after an incredible year and a half, BDG has decided it’s over with Gawker 2.0. I can’t say enough how proud I am of the site and all the brilliant people who worked to create it, and what a staggering shame it is. I had an absolute blast and I love you”, Finnegan says in her tweet Wednesday.
The Writers Guild of America, East, which represents Gawker staff members, said that around 40 staff members were made redundant, including eight members of Gawker, while the others were part-time workers from BDG’s Women and Lifestyle sites. The union has also asked to negotiate with BDG over the decision.
“The WGAE is appalled by BDG’s decision to terminate nearly 40 members of our unit. This is the third round of layoffs in the last six months that has effectively led to the original unit being halved from 200 workers to just over 100 workers. Today’s latest wave of layoffs and the closure of Gawkercame after more than two years of attempts to negotiate a first contract with BDG, and on the heels of more recent negotiation dates canceled by the Company altogether.
“The decisions BDG made today have real consequences for workers who have lost their livelihoods. The majority of these layoffs are decimating the jobs of the unit’s part-time workers – workers who were already paid below industry standards and received no other company benefits except sick leave. accumulated which are mandatory under most state laws. Tough economic times and rising inflation are already creating greater hardship for our members, and we expect the Society to be more generous in its severance packages than it has been in previous rounds. of layoffs.
“WGAE demands to negotiate with BDG on this decision and the effects of the layoffs – which the company is obligated to do under federal labor law,” the union said in a statement.
A BDG spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment. However, after a series of acquisitions of once high-flying digital publications – Microphone, Daily Elite — as well as traditional brands like Nylon and Othe Goldberg-led BDG is cutting its bets. GawkerRe-shuttering comes after BDG tech site shuts down Contribution last September.
Gawker Media, founded by Nick Denton in 2003, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016 after a Florida judge issued a $140 million final judgment in favor of Hulk Hogan. Hogan had sued the site after posting a sex tape of the wrestler. It was later discovered that billionaire Peter Thiel had supported this and other lawsuits against the company.
As part of the bankruptcy process, the company auctioned off its other assets, including blogs Gizmodo, Jezebel and dead spinfor $135 million to Univision, which then sold those brands in 2019 to private equity firm Great Hill Partners.