Gawker, the site known for no-holds barred journalism, appears to be down for the count.
Bustle Media Group (BDG) is closing the title and laying off numerous people, BDG CEO Bryan Goldberg said in a message to company staff on Wednesday.
“After experiencing a financially strong 2022, we have found ourselves facing a surprisingly difficult Q1 of 2023,” Goldberg wrote.
He added, “Unfortunately, this will result in us eliminating several positions around the Company, amounting to approximately 8% of the full-time organization.”
Goldberg then got to the point.
“The most noticeable change you will see today is that BDG will be suspending operations of Gawker. We are proud of the site that Leah (Finnegan) and her team built. Gawker published a lot of brilliant pieces in these nearly two years. But in this new reality, we have to prioritize our better monetized titles. It’s a business decision, and one that, reluctantly, must be made.”
Gawker entered bankruptcy in 2016 after losing a $140 lawsuit judgment to wrestler Hulk Hogan and billionaire Peter Thiel. Bustle BDG acquired Gawker for $1.35 million at a bankruptcy auction in 2018, but backed off a plan to revive the site in 2019. Finally, it was relaunched in 2021.
Meanwhile, Goldberg noted that BDG is focused on producing “premium editorial, shoots and covers. We aggressively invested in email subscribers, so that we can control which of our pieces reach a wide audience.”