Love them or hate them, this is huge
When it came out that billionaire Peter Thiel, best known for co-founding PayPal, was the financial support system behind Hulk Hogan’s invasion of privacy lawsuit against Gawker Media, we built you a complete primer on the events of the trial and everything that lead up to it.
And now, the legal super drama—filled with personal vendettas and salacious gossip and a precedent-setting assault on the fourth estate—has escalated, as Gawker Media, LLC has filed for bankruptcy protection in the Southern District Court of New York.
CNBC and The New York Times are also reporting that the media company will be put up for auction. By going into chapter 11, Gawker is hoping to protect jobs and keep the operation up and running during the sale.
The bankruptcy filing comes after a judge involved in the Hogan lawsuit denied Gawker’s request for a stay, meaning the company will have to pay out the entire judgment of $140 million. Digital media company ZiffDavis has reportedly submitted an opening bid of $90 to $100 million, which is considerably less than half of the $250 million the company was valued at in 2014.
No matter where you come down on Gawker’s practices or their liability in the recent invasion of privacy lawsuit, the precedent that one rich man with a grudge can take down an entire media company should be very disturbing.
On their end, Gawker employees are trying to keep it light. Or at least one is. In a short post about Slack chat service users experiencing difficulties today, Alex Pareene writes, “According to the service’s status website, the Slack website and API are down, due to an unexplained ‘resource exhaustion.’ (We can relate!) This is the worst media news of the day.”
There might not be enough sad trombones in all the world for that one.