R.I.P. Gawker, 2002-2016
Gawker.com will shut down at the end of next week, the website reported Thursday.
Over more than a decade, the pioneering website produced a cadre of talented writers and editors, oodles of attention-grabbing scoops, became the scourge of the Manhattan media scene and a magnet for lawsuits.
It sometimes drew attention — and derision from established media — for stories that veered toward the stuff of tabloids, such as a 2015 story about a Condé Nast executive allegedly soliciting a male escort.
The site was ultimately driven to bankruptcy by lawsuits brought by lawyer Charles Harder and bankrolled by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who waged a covert legal war against the site's parent company.
Gawker's sister sites, Jezebel, Jalopnik, i09 and Deadspin, among others, may continue to live on under the ownership of Univision, which this week purchased Gawker Media for $135 million. The role of founder Nick Denton remains unclear in a Univision-owned Gawker Media.
In the wake of today's announcement, journalists working at Gawker Media and elsewhere reacted to the pending closure on Twitter.
Pouring one out for Gawker. When it was good, it was great. https://t.co/NfobncAgHF
— stacy-marie ishmael (@s_m_i) August 18, 2016
I am heartbroken
— Sam Biddle (@samfbiddle) August 18, 2016
This is a travesty. https://t.co/k9TTsJWc5H
— Noah Shachtman (@NoahShachtman) August 18, 2016
Peter Thiel has successfully created a blueprint for billionaires to destroy any news org they don’t like. Awful. https://t.co/5vwYov7aiK
— Freedom of the Press (@FreedomofPress) August 18, 2016
We live in a fucking nightmare https://t.co/TbiW9HRk8r
— Leah Beckmann (@leahbeckmann) August 18, 2016
— Allie Jones (@allierileyjones) August 18, 2016
fucking hell https://t.co/yIyTKEdGyh
— Dayna Evans (@DaynaEvans_) August 18, 2016
see you in hell https://t.co/DcPfWN9SRx
— jordan (@jordansarge) August 18, 2016
Really really sad to see. https://t.co/XXL8oriVig
— Neal Mann (@fieldproducer) August 18, 2016
Gawker was this walking attitude problem my least restrictive platform ever. The world needs places like that. https://t.co/HPESKAQpLg
— Ana Marie Cox (@anamariecox) August 18, 2016
There will be a void. A very specifically shaped, incredibly necessary void. Fuck you, Peter Thiel. https://t.co/Fk10z9qEyz
— Marina Galperina (@mfortki) August 18, 2016
Gawker was always different, and always full of itself, and always obnoxious, and often annoying. And at its best, it was irresistible.
— Will Leitch (@williamfleitch) August 18, 2016
Two things that are both true:
1) There are very strong criticisms of Gawker
2) The way in which it was shut down is extremely troubling
— Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp) August 18, 2016
I guess in the spirit of gawker I should just say... fuck you!
— Choire (@Choire) August 18, 2016