Business News – Gawker’s Founder Seeks to Regain Control of the Company

ft-business

The bankruptcy proceedings of Gawker Media are all over the news these days, and these proceedings will result in the company’s founder Nick Denton giving up all control over the company’s websites. But there is still a possibility that Denton will end up with control over the one blog that started all of this – Gawker.com.

Denton has been engaging in conversations with associates about buying Gawker.com back from whoever acquires this part of the company. This would allow him to run the site on his own and start up his business again.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There are still plenty of things to iron out, and there is no certainty that Denton will succeed with his plan, but Denton is hopeful. A lot depends on how the appeal goes for Gawker and Nick Denton with regards to the Hulk Hogan lawsuit.

It would certainly present an interesting situation if Denton manages to gain back access to Gawker.com, because this is the blog he began in 2002 to report on gossip surrounding the Manhattan media and social circles.

When Gawker.com became a runaway success, Denton launched many spin-off sites with similar objectives, such as Jezebel, Gizmodo, and others. These sites covered different types of news, such as politics, current events, popular culture news and more. Gawker Media owns all of these different assets, but the company is currently facing over $140 million in fines and damages because of the Hulk Hogan invasion-of-privacy lawsuit.

Since neither Gawker nor their founder has the funds to pay these judgments or the $50 million bond against the company, they are heading for bankruptcy in a swift manner. This is the only way they can stop Hulk Hogan from seizing control of all their assets.

An auction will take place in the summer, under the supervision of a bankruptcy judge, to get rid of all the company’s assets. This should raise a fair amount of money, with Ziff Davis being named as a possible bidder. Figures in the range of $80 to $100 million are being talked about with regards to the bidding for all of Gawker’s assets. This money will go towards paying the judgment and any other debts the company currently holds.

The CEO of Ziff Davis has confirmed the rumors and says that his company intends to bid on the different websites being auctioned under the Gawker Media umbrella. He is particularly interested in acquiring sites such as Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Kotaku. They would help solidify his company’s online presence since they are already a major player in the tech and gaming communities. Deadspin and Jezebel would also represent interesting acquisitions for Ziff.

It is interesting that the CEO of Ziff Davis made no mention of the Gawker.com website. This is because Gawker.com does not provide much revenue. While the name is synonymous with the company and Nick Denton’s initial success, it is not a particularly appealing purchase for an outsider. This would leave Denton with a potentially clear route to buy the site after it is purchased on the cheap by a bidder.