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Gawker Relaunch Put on Hold, All Staff Members Laid Off

Bustle Digital Group purchased Gawker in a bankruptcy court auction in July 2018

The relaunch of Gawker is being postponed indefinitely, and all staff members have been laid off.

Bustle Digital Group declined to provide details, but in a statement provided to TheWrap, a spokesperson said: “We can confirm that we are postponing the Gawker launch. For now, we are focusing company resources and efforts on our most recent acquisitions, Mic, The Outline, Nylon and Inverse.”

Bustle Digital Group, which purchased Gawker assets a year ago, canceled the relaunch of the news and gossip site and terminated employees Tuesday night, according to the New York Post, which first reported the news.

The decision follows months of behind-the-scenes turmoil at the new version of Gawker. In January, Maya Kosoff and Anna Breslaw, the site’s only two full-time writers, quit over concerns about editorial director Carson Griffith, who they said made offensive jokes and racist comments in the workplace.

Soon after, the company pushed back its planned “early 2019” relaunch to later in the year. And in June, Gawker editor Ben Barna quit and returned to his job at Interview just five months after being hired.

Gawker Media was forced into bankruptcy in 2016 after losing a Florida lawsuit brought by ex-pro wrestler Terry Bollea (a.k.a. Hulk Hogan) and his billionaire backer Peter Thiel. Bustle Media chief Bryan Goldberg purchased Gawker for $1.35 million in a bankruptcy court auction in July 2018.

Gawker Media’s other properties, websites like Deadspin, Gizmodo, Lifehacker, Jezebel and Jalopnik, were subsequently sold to Univision in August 2016 for $135 million. The company passed on buying Gawker.com, which instead ended up in limbo under the care of William Holden, a management consultant.