Gawker.com, a 13-year-old American blog, ceased operations on 22nd August, 2016. The highest-profile blog focused on celebrities and the media industry, and it had over 8 million visits per month before its shutdown.
Fortunately, Gawker’s earlier posts still remain online. Currently, you will notice that there are a few farewell posts on its front page from editors. Their titles include “Letters From Our Exes”, ” How Guilty Should I Feel?”, ” Gawker Was Murdered by Gaslight”, ” What Was Gawker?”. These parting words read like obituaries, mourning the closure of Gawker.com.
Gawker’s downfall began with the decision to publish Hulk Hogan’s sex tape without the permission of either Hogan or his partner on October 4, 2012. Hogan sent Gawker a order to take the video down, but Gawker refused. Then Hogan sued, and asked for $100 million in damages. In earlier 2016, Hulk Hogan was awarded $140 million by a Florida jury on this case.
Gawker lost the case, and the company did not have $140 million, so it was forced to file for bankruptcy. Gawker was put up for auction, following the loss of the Hogan lawsuit. On August 16, 2016, Univision Communications acquired Gawker Media for $135 million. Six blog sites were included, Kotaku, Jalopnik, Lifehacker, Gizmodo (and its sub-site io9), Deadspin and Jezebel. Gawker.com, the flagship Gawker site, was not in the list, and declared its shutdown just two days after the acquisition.
“The staff will move to new jobs on other properties in Gawker Media Group, which are lively and intact, and the whole operation will continue under new ownership, after being acquired for $135 million by Univision. But I will not be going with my colleagues. The Gawker domain is also being left behind in bankruptcy. This is the last post.” Gawker’s founder, Nick Denton, announced his final post on Gawker.com.
Gawker has produced a lot of great stories, but the greatest one is itself. Now Gawker is dead, which symbolizes the end of an era. People will miss the site and the slogan: Today’s gossip is tomorrow’s news.