As you may have heard—and as we here at The A.V. Club know very well, considering we were one of them—Latin American media company Univision has been on a mission to increase its English-language presence by buying up various English-language media outlets. Univision, which also owns El Rey and Fusion, bought Onion, Inc. back in January, and earlier this week it bought Gawker Media for $135 million at auction.
As media watchers and pro wrestling fans already know, the reason Gawker Media was up for auction was because the company filed for bankruptcy in June after losing a lawsuit brought by now-former WWE Hall of Famer Terry “Hulk Hogan” Bollea. Bollea brought the suit after Gawker leaked a sex tape catching him and a friend’s then-wife in flagrante delicto in 2012. A Florida judge agreed with Bollea that this was an uncool thing to do, and awarded him a total of $140 million in damages. So, here we are.
Now, according to The Wall Street Journal, Univision has moved to shut down Gawker Media’s flagship site (and, it should be noted, the source of the lawsuit that ultimately crippled the company), Gawker. In a memo to his employees, editor-in-chief Nick Denton said:
Sadly, neither I nor Gawker.com, the buccaneering flagship of the group I built with my colleagues, are coming along for this next stage [of the company]. Desirable though the other properties are, we have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing also to take on Gawker.com. The campaign being mounted against its editorial ethos and former writers has made it too risky. I can understand the caution.
The other websites published by Gawker Media—Deadspin, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, and Kotaku—will all continue to operate as normal under the banner of Univision’s Fusion Media Group. Gawker will cease publishing new articles on Monday, although its archives will remain online. Gawker staffers will be reassigned, either at one of its sister sites or at parent company Univision.
Hogan, for his part, seems to feel vindicated by the move: