Will Univision Shut Down Gawker?

Proposed deal gives Univision the option to transfer media blog back to bankrupt Gawker Media, or just close it

Hulk Hogan Gawker Smack Down

Gawker Media president Heather Dietrick told staffers on Wednesday that she does not know the fate of the company’s flagship site, according to a blog post by Gawker.com reporter J.K. Trotter.

“Staffers were told that Univision has not yet decided whether the company will take Gawker Media’s namesake website under its wing,” Trotter wrote.

Univision won the bankruptcy auction to purchase Gawker Media and all of its assets for $135 million on Tuesday, but many feel the company’s cornerstone blog isn’t as valuable as sister sites such as Deadspin and Gizmodo. The proposed acquisition deal gives Univision the option to transfer Gawker.com back to Nick Denton’s bankrupt Gawker Media LLC before a judge makes the deal official.

“Alternatively, Univision could choose to acquire Gawker.com’s assets but decide not to operate it,” Trotter wrote. Earlier this week, the New York Post cited two sources “close to the sale process” that suggested the website is such a “PR problem” that “the winner will probably shut it down.”

According to Politico, Univision will offer Gawker.com staffers jobs at other Univision properties if they chose to shut it down, but the site’s editorial staff “want Univision to continue operating Gawker.com and plan to make their case to their new boss, Isaac Lee.”

In March, a jury awarded Hulk Hogan a total of $140 million after Gawker published portions of a sex tape featuring the wrestler and the then-wife of his close friend, Todd “Bubba the Love Sponge” Clem. After awarding Hogan $115 million in damages, the jury tacked on another $25 million in punitive damages. The site has filed an appeal over the judgement.