Gawker Media has declared bankruptcy, Politico’s Peter Sterne reported, after a Florida judge denied Gawker’s request to put a stay on paying Hulk Hogan while it appeals his $140 million invasion of privacy verdict. In a press release sent to iMediaEthics by Gawker on the Gawker bankruptcy filing and auction news, Gawker said:
“Gawker Media Group (‘GMG’) has entered into an asset purchase agreement to sell its seven media brands and other assets to Ziff Davis, a global digital media company which operates in the technology, gaming and lifestyle categories and is a subsidiary of j2 Global, Inc.”
“The asset purchase agreement to Ziff Davis, the owner of PC Magazine, marks the start of the bankruptcy auction process,” CNN reported. “Bidding is expected to continue next week.”
Selling the seven sites — Gizmodo, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Jalopnik, Kotaku, Jezebel and, of course, the Gawker site — will keep jobs in place and help pay to appeal the Hogan verdict, the press release says, adding
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“In order to offer the business free and clear of legal liabilities and maximize value for all stakeholders, GMG subsidiary GM LLC has filed for Chapter 11 protection from creditors. The sale will be conducted through a bankruptcy court supervised auction, in which other bidders may offer a higher price for the company. GMG is being advised by Mark Patricof of Houlihan Lokey.”
“The protection afforded by the bankruptcy filing will allow GMG to exercise its rights to due process,” the press release goes on. “The company is confident it will ultimately prevail in the Hogan lawsuit, but was not able today to obtain from the trial court even a brief stay without onerous conditions to seek relief from the appeals court.”
In the press release, Gawker founder Nick Denton said, “We have been forced by this litigation to give up our longstanding independence, but our writers remain committed to telling the true stories that underpin credibility with our millions of readers. With stronger backing and disentangled from litigation, they can perform their vital work on more platforms and in different forms.”