After going bankrupt, following a lawsuit filed by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan and funded by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, Gawker.com’s future was uncertain. That is until Bryan Goldberg’s holding company won the website’s domain name and assets at auction last summer.
Goldberg cofounder of Bleacher Report and founder of the Bustle Digital Group, said at the time in a memo obtained by CNN: “You are probably wondering what happens next. The short answer is this — not much. We have no immediate plans to re-launch Gawker. For now, things will stay as they are.”
But this week, in a move that points to the outlet’s coming revival, Bustle Digital Group announced that journalist Dan Peres will be the next EIC of Gawker.com. The outlet is slated to relaunch later this year.
Peres, who was the top editor of Conde Nast’s Details for 15 years and has a memoir coming out this year, told The New York Times the site will not become a “Gawker 2.0,” citing Gawker’s “gratuitous meanness” and “misguided decision-making” in its later years.
He stated: “There’s an opportunity to draw on the great things they did and dismiss some of the not-great things they did.”
Goldberg told The Times he felt Peres could handle the heavy attention Gawker’s relaunch will bring with it.
Peres’ hiring follows the exit of Gawker’s only two full-time writers in January. Anna Breslaw and Maya Kosoff departed three weeks after joining in protest over the site’s new editorial director Carson Griffith. They accused her of making inappropriate comments about black writers and a potential hire’s gender identity.
Earlier this year, Bustle Digital Group acquired Mic as the once-prosperous outlet laid off most of its 100-person unionized staff. Just two months after the acquisition, Bustle Digital Group relaunched the site, publishing new content penned by two writers not affiliated with the outlet’s unionized staff.