The planned reboot of Gawker, the irreverent news, gossip and commentary site that shut down in 2016, has been put off indefinitely and its staff laid off, the site’s owner, Bustle Digital Group, said on Tuesday night.
Bustle Digital Group, which publishes women’s-interest sites like Bustle and the recently acquired Nylon, purchased the Gawker.com domain last year after its parent company, Gawker Media, went bankrupt in the wake of an invasion-of-privacy suit brought by Hulk Hogan, the former professional wrestler, and bankrolled by Peter Thiel, the Silicon Valley billionaire.
Dan Peres, the former longtime editor of the defunct Condé Nast men’s fashion magazine Details who was named the editor of Gawker.com in March, was among those who lost their jobs.
“We are postponing the Gawker relaunch,” Bustle Digital Group said in a statement. “For now, we are focusing company resources and efforts on our most recent acquisitions, Mic, The Outline, Nylon and Inverse.”
The New York Post reported the news of Gawker’s latest implosion earlier on Tuesday.
Bryan Goldberg, a digital media entrepreneur who owns Bustle Digital Group and is a co-founder of the sports-fan site Bleacher Report, bought the Gawker name at a bankruptcy auction for $1.35 million last summer. Since then, the site has resisted all attempts to bring it back to life.
Founded in 2002 by Nick Denton, a onetime reporter at the Financial Times, Gawker had a no-holds-barred tone that sought to match the way journalists talked about public figures in their after-hours conversations, consequences be damned. The site’s detractors said it went too far in revealing personal details about its subjects. One of them was Mr. Thiel, who was angered by a Gawker post in 2007 that reported, without his permission, that he is gay.
At the time of the lawsuit filed by Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, it emerged that Mr. Thiel had spent about $10 million to back the legal challenge. Gawker Media went bankrupt in 2016 after the court ruled against it in a $140 million judgment.
Univision bought the Gawker Media properties — minus Gawker.com — at auction that same year. Earlier this year, Univision sold the remainder of that original company, now known as G/O Media and including the sites The Onion, Deadspin and Jezebel, to the private equity firm Great Hill Partners.
Mr. Goldberg appointed the journalist Carson Griffith as Gawker’s top editor in January. The move backfired shortly afterward, when the site’s two full-time writers quit because they objected to inappropriate comments made by Ms. Griffith on black writers and the gender identity of a potential hire.
Ms. Griffith remained on staff after Mr. Goldberg said a review by a law firm had “cleared” her. Now, along with Mr. Peres and the rest of the small staff, Ms. Griffith is no longer at the still-dormant Gawker.
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