While Gawker founder Nick Denton has said that he intends to leave the gossip business, Univision Communications, which just acquired most of Gawker Media’s sites, isn’t taking any chances.
The Hispanic media giant will pay the erstwhile CEO the tidy sum of $16,666 per month – yes, you read that right, per month – for two years as part of a noncompete agreement in which Denton promises not to work for any other sites in the same space.
Denton revealed the proposed noncompete agreement, including the payments, as part of a filing in bankruptcy court asking for approval of the arrangement.
If the noncompete agreement is approved by the bankruptcy court, altogether Univision, which bought Gawker Media’s portfolio of sites (but not the flagship Gawker.com) for $135 million, will pay Denton $400,000 over the course of two years for staying out of the gossip and reporting business.
According to various reports, Denton made $500,000 a year as CEO of Gawker Media, so the Univision non-compete agreement isn’t quite as lucrative as his old gig. On the other hand, he can do it, or rather not do it, in his pajamas.
The payments will also be a helpful fillip for Denton’s beleaguered finances, as he negotiates a personal bankruptcy following the $140 million judgment against Gawker passed down by a Florida jury in the Hulk Hogan sex tape case – which includes $10 million of personal liability for Denton.
Gawker filed for bankruptcy in June, and Denton filed for personal bankruptcy earlier this month.
Denton is also petitioning the bankruptcy court to approve his proposal to lease out his SoHo apartment for $12,500 per month.
On the professional front, Denton has said he plans to launch online discussion forums, an area of digital media sufficiently removed from the gossip business that it shouldn’t run afoul of the noncompete agreement.
Last week, Denton announced that the flagship Gawker.com will shut down sometime this week, after no buyers emerged for the site. Univision will take control of Gawker Media’s other culture, sports, lifestyle and tech-reporting sites, including Deadpsin, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel and Kotaku.