Univision Buys Gawker for $135 Million
Univision the Spanish-language broadcaster was the winner of a Tuesday auction for Gawker Media. Gawker was put up on the auction block following the $140 million judgment it had placed against it in the invasion of privacy case Hulk Hogan brought against it.
Univision will pay just $135 million for the online news and gossip publisher, according to people close to the situation, who did not want to be identified since the deal was not formally announced.
The founder of Gawker, through a prepared statement on Tuesday evening confirmed they agreed to the sale of the business and its brand to Univision.
Broadening from its base of Spanish language, Univision has invested in media properties that are aimed at younger people, including it taking a share in The Onion a satirical website this past January.
In April, it announced it would be taking complete control of TV channel Fusion that was launched back in 2013 with ABC.
Univision was able to outbid Ziff Davis, the gaming and tech site giant, for the Gawker Media rights. There were just two bidders in the auction, said someone close to the bankruptcy proceedings. A judge now must approve the auction sales on Thursday at a court hearing.
Gawker Media properties is its namesake site, Jezebel focused on women, Gizmodo that is everything tech and Deadspin a sports site.
The often confrontational yet breezy style has turned out to be influential in the world of publishing.
However, it filed in June for bankruptcy, only three months after the lawsuit was won by Hogan against the company of 14 years.
Nick Denton, the founder of Gawker, is a former journalist with the Financial Times, also filed personal bankruptcy.
Denton said on Tuesday that this sale of Gawker to Univision meant that its employees were protected and would continue working under the new ownership.
A statement by Denton read that Gawker could not have picked a buyer that was more devoted to vibrant journalism.
Hogan, a former wrestler and whose real name is Terry Bollea, filed suit over a tape that was posted on the website showing him during sexual relations with the wife of a friend.
More notoriety was gained when it was released that Peter Thiel a billionaire in Silicon Valley secretly bankrolled the lawsuit filed by Hogan.
Thiel’s role in paying for the suit against Gawker increased fears over wealthy people wielding power going after different publications they dislike.