Univision to Buy Gawker Media for $135 Million
Posted on August 16, 2016
Univision is buying Gawker Media for $135 million. Univision, best known for its Spanish language television programming, outbid Ziff Davis to win the auction for the blog network, which is being sold following bankruptcy due to the Hulk Holgan ruling. Ziff Davis reportedly bid $90 million for Gawker.
Gawker was founded by Nick Denton in 2002. It has less blogs now than it did at its peak. There have been closed blogs, sold blogs and some consolidation over the years. The current network of blogs include Gawker, Gizmodo, Deadspin, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Kotaku and Lifehacker. The blogs cover media, technology, sports, autos, celebrity, lifestyle, gaming and other topics. The network become known for its snarky tone, particularly the Valleywag tech site which was shuttered in 2009.
Denton says in a statement, "Gawker Media Group has agreed this evening to sell our business and popular brands to Univision, one of America's largest media companies that is rapidly assembling the leading digital media group for millennial and multicultural audiences. I am pleased that our employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership - disentangled from the legal campaign against the company. We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism."
Re/code reports that a U.S. bankruptcy court judge will have to sign off on the merger before the deal can take place. Gawker is also still appealing its court case.
It will be interesting to see what Univision does with the Gawker network. Boing Boing notes that Univision already has a similar web presence called Fusion so it is probable there will be some combining of sites after the merger is finally completed. It seems likely Univision will continue to use some of the best known blog names like Gawker and Gizmodo.
Update 8-18-18: It turns out that Univision will not be keeping the Gawker name and site. Gawker reports that Nick Denton told employees at a meeting that Gawker.com will end operations next week. A decision has not yet been made on the site's archives. The other six sites will continue.