Gawker In a "Bad Place" According to Own Financial Expert, Plus a Hogan Trial Update

Gawker In a “Bad Place” According to Own Financial Expert, Plus a Hogan Trial Update

What’s up guys? I had a slow Friday, but after the insane Thursday we had, I think that was OK. I’m going to post a good amount today, though. It’s the 4th of July here in the United States, as well, and I might write something about that later in the day. Before I get o that, there’s a lot to talk about, starting with Gawker and our old friend Hulk Hogan. The trial date has been pushed back to a yet-to-be-determined time, but there was some bad news from Gawker’s financial expert. Rough times are coming for the company due to bulging expenses. That’s not all…

They’ve also had to reach out for a $15 million “rescue package” from Silicon Valley Bank. This is one of the only times owner Nick Denton has sought outside funding according to the original New York Post report. But back to the financial expert and what he had to say about Gawker’s outlook. Revenue was up, true. The rate of expense growth was even higher (30%+), though:

“The company was growing below the [rate of growth] of other companies in the market, so it was a relatively slow-growing, not very profitable company, which is kind of a bad place to be,” said Horan at one point in a deposition in response to a question on Gawker’s finances.

“It’s OK to be growing 50 percent a year and not making any money. It’s OK to be making 40 percent profit margin and growing real slowly. But it is kind of tough to be slow-growing and not very profitable,” Horan continued.

The expert witness, hired by Denton and Gawker, may have been trying to temper the expectations of Hogan (real name: Terry Gene Bollea), who has a long history of lawsuits against well-heeled opponents. But it also spotlights the thin profits that may be about to suffer another jolt.

If you look further down the piece, you can see that their traffic might be suffering as well, no matter what they may say in their public pronouncements:

But in another key barometer, traffic seems to have plateaued for the company. ComScore, one of the leading trackers of Internet traffic, showed that through May, traffic was 53 million.

While it’s up a bit from the April figure, it is down from its 12-month peak of 63 million hits in August.

What happened last August? Oh yea, that’s right: GamerGate. This is just one site’s metric, but I still like what I’m seeing there. The rest of the article is Denton whining about how the jury shouldn’t be able to hear about how his company is incorporated in the Cayman Islands, or his offices in Hungary. Typical douchebaggery. But there was one other news story I saw in relation to the Hulk Hogan lawsuit. Gawker is accusing the F.B.I. of altering evidence and participating in a cover-up:

Gawker lawyer Seth Berlin said he recently viewed the three tapes and compared them to transcripts of the tapes created while they were supposedly in FBI possession. When Berlin watched the tape later, a portion didn’t match up to the transcripts, he told the judge.

“There is something that is particularly of sensitive and of interest to us in the case and that is the portion that has been overdubbed,” he said, “So we have two CDs with two different video and for a portion of it the audio is the same.”

“I want to understand how it is that between that moment when the FBI took possession of those DVDs and when I saw those tapes…on Tuesday, that audio got changed,” Berlin said, adding that “it smells like bad fish.” When Berlin said he wasn’t trying to “impugn anybody at the FBI or in the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the judge shot back “you are.”

Berlin then implied that Hogan may have worked with the FBI in some way.

“In my judgment Mr. Bollea has used the arms of the federal grand jury to try and suppress [evidence],” Berlin said. “I didn’t know that the FBI was in the business of doing that…”

The judge replied, “Well, I would be very surprised if that’s what’s going on here. I realize why it’s in your best interests to say something like that, but I would be very surprised to say that’s going on.”

Hogan’s lawyer, Charles Harder, told BuzzFeed News, “Gawker accused Mr. Bollea today of being ‘in cahoots’ with the FBI. Nothing could be further from the truth. The accusation is 100% false and outrageous. Gawker clearly is desperate and making up lies to try to cover up its own illegal activity.”

I don’t think that the smartest road for you guys to go down, since the Feds are known to have a long memory, but go right ahead. I certainly won’t be the one to dissuade you. We’ll keep watching this case and all the developments surrounding it. I’m going to go edit some pieces and look through some more morning news, like what’s going on with Reddit. So stay tuned for a thorough recap of all that.

Ethan Ralph

Founder, Owner, & Editor-in-Chief of TheRalphRetort.com. Political fiend, gamer, & anti-bullshit.

  • Pesty

    So, Gawker possibly perjuring themselves and antagonizing the investigative arm of the federal government in the process? God, I want this to be true.

    Usually when someone decides to hang themselves, they don’t escort themselves up to the gallows and bring their own rope.

  • Freeman

    So according to Gawker’s scumbag lawyer a bunch of FBI agents are risking their careers because of Hogan’s dick…?
    Yeah, that’ll win the jury over. Lead with that.

    • Throwingrocks

      It’s unlikely, but not entirely discountable. Some people will do very stupid things for their “Hero”;s, and to many guys who grew up on 80’s wrestling, Hulk Hogan is one of their “Hero”‘s.

      That said, I don’t believe that this is the case here in any way, shape or form – just that there is that theoretical possibility. And if it turns out that they can prove one of the FBI employees who has access to the evidence is/was a wrestling fan, this will hit the fan at trial just to see if it sticks. (assuming Gawker can afford the kind of legal representation that can do that kind of digging into the potential witnesses, that is – something that seems less and less likely every day)

  • LongLiveGamerGate

    “Berlin then implied that Hogan may have worked with the FBI in some way.”

    HAHAHAHAHAHA

    • nrrork

      That sounds the plot of some bad 80s action movie, doesn’t it?

      “My GOD, the President has been abducted, and there’s only ONE MAN who can save him.”

      “You come in to MY COUNTRY, and hold MY President hostage. . . now you’re gonna have to deal with ME, BROTHER!”

    • Anon

      Remember that the FBI was also supposed to have been pro- #GamerGate (as per Ghazi), so this is not surprising. ☺

  • hurin

    Basically they’re bleeding cash because of their legal woes, and no one will invest in a company that’s on the way to losing a major court case and having to pay millions to Hulk Hogan.

    I have only one thing to say to all those Gawker ‘journalists’ about to lose their jobs, and not being able to find new ones because Google will lead the HR department straight to their Deepfreeze entries.

    Yes, I will have fries with that.

  • Souvik Roy Choudhury

    All those sjw egos. No wonder they’re broke.

  • MeteorMess

    We stunned the gawker, hogan will finish it.

    Bye bye useless hacks.

  • Ross

    My prediction is within a year, most of the games journalists involved with the companies behind the gamers are dead articles and Weluvedevs hashtag, will have “freelance” in their title. We just need to finish off the others….and link their names in google results to their entries in Deepfreeze

    Out of interest, Quentin Tarantino drop a lawsuit over their leaking the crazy 8 script. It was dropped without prejudice and on the understanding he could refine it at a later date. He also swore revenge. Don’t you think NOW may be a good time for him to get that revenge?

    How do you reckon we could reach out?

  • I really do hope this ends up in flames.

  • Bitterbear

    I don’t believe their own financial expert.

    “You lied!” Saavik accuses. Spock shamelessly corrects, “I exaggerated.”

  • Callan Elliott

    The funeral bells are tolling

  • Shane Phillips

    I hope Hogan makes them Crash and Burn.

  • masterninja

    Everything about this pleases me!

  • King of Zeroes

    I’m waiting for the video of the trial where Mr. Denton publicly accuses Hogan of being the Leader of GamerGate.

  • Anon

    Sounds like GamerGate wounded Gawker so hard they had to take out a loan to cover the loss in advertisers.

    And now Hogan is going for the kill.

  • Okay, I was hoping Hogan would body slam Gawker back to the stone age; but now it seems like Gawker are their own worst enemies.

    Seriously. Attacking the FBI? Did Gawker’s lawyer lose his mind or something?

    • R.J.

      Unlikely that they would hire a fool. An asshole, sure, but not a fool.

      So them going after the credibility of the FBI, could that mean Feds have some EXTREMELY juicy (and yet unknown to the public) dirt on Gawker?

      • Must be. Why else could they justify going after Federal Investigators?

        Either they’ve lost any semblance of sanity, or the Feds have some ace up their sleeve against Gawker.

  • Hawk Hopper

    I love how Gawker’s defense relies on a conspiracy theory about Hogan and the FBI working together like a tag-team.

    There are some golden quotes here:

    “When Berlin said he wasn’t trying to “impugn anybody at the FBI or in the U.S. Attorney’s Office,” the judge shot back “you are.””

    and

    “The judge replied, “Well, I would be very surprised if that’s what’s going on here. I realize why it’s in your best interests to say something like that, but I would be very surprised to say that’s going on.””

    Yes, Gawker, please try to prove this lackluster conspiracy theory against the FBI.

    Then Hogan’s lawyer talks to Buzzfeed, Gawker’s crappy competitor. That is hilarious.

    • zmbrtlsm

      They accused Gamergate of using conspiracy theories and now they are the ones using said theories. Oh the irony!

  • zmbrtlsm

    I just leave this here.

  • Phreno

    Is there any particular reason why we shouldn’t tweet our support to Hogan?

  • Blight

    Hahahaha Gawker is taking a note from Scientology? Buddy you gotta have big feet to fill those shoes.

  • LePatriote1980

    Rarely there was a site that deserved to go down that much.

  • Shogun1x

    I hope Hulk hits the leg drop on these assholes.

  • Pintheshadows

    My face when I saw that Gawker is crumbling financially.

  • Faggory Daggory Doo!

    Let em burn

  • Terry “Death to Equality” Xu

    I see they’ve gone into the conspiracy theory zone

  • Zach Puckett

    Man instead of using a shovel to dig their own grave gawker seems to just want to use grenades.

  • Sevuz

    HOGAN SMASH!