Gawker Media Friday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in New York.

The media company, known for blogs like “Jezebel” and “Deadspin,” had assets of $50 to $100 million and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million, filings showed.


A case filed under chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy Code is frequently referred to as a “reorganization” bankruptcy.

An individual cannot file under chapter 11 or any other chapter if, during the preceding 180 days, a prior bankruptcy petition was dismissed due to the debtor’s willful failure to appear before the court or comply with orders of the court, or was voluntarily dismissed after creditors sought relief from the bankruptcy court to recover property upon which they hold liens. 11 U.S.C. §§ 109(g), 362(d)-(e). In addition, no individual may be a debtor under chapter 11 or any chapter of the Bankruptcy Code unless he or she has, within 180 days before filing, received credit counseling from an approved credit counseling agency either in an individual or group briefing. 11 U.S.C. §§ 109, 111. There are exceptions in emergency situations or where the U.S. trustee (or bankruptcy administrator) has determined that there are insufficient approved agencies to provide the required counseling. If a debt management plan is developed during required credit counseling, it must be filed with the court.




Peter Thiel is getting closer to his goal: Gawker Media has filed for bankruptcy protection and says it eventually plans to find a new owner for the company.

Gawker and owner Nick Denton are making the Chapter 11 filing today, in order to avoid paying Thiel and Hulk Hogan the $140 million judgment they won in Hogan’s privacy trial earlier this year.

Gawker has told it employees it still plans to fight the Thiel/Hogan case and to operate its publishing business while it does so. But it is also now formally entertaining offers to buy the company and says it has a firm bid from publisher Ziff Davis to buy the entire operation for less than $100 million.

Gawker and its banker Mark Patricof assume that the company will eventually see higher bids while it is in bankruptcy protection. Last year, in advance of the Hogan trial, Denton figured his company was worth something in the $250 million to $300 million range.

But in any case the company won’t trade hands until Gawker either beats back Thiel and Hogan or it finishes a court-approved restructuring. Because no one wants to buy an ongoing lawsuit from Peter Thiel.


Gawker Media filed for bankruptcy Friday and the company will be put up for auction after a judge ruled that a $140 million jury judgment against it in a costly legal battle with former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan would stand.

The sale auction will begin with an opening bid of $100 million from the digital media company and publisher Ziff Davis LLC, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The sale was triggered after the judge overseeing the invasion-of-privacy case brought by Hulk Hogan—whose real name is Terry Bollea—declined to issue a stay pending Gawker’s appeal. That required the company to put up a $50 million bond.

As a result, Gawker Media will declare bankruptcy in order to continue operating and paying its staff.


I’m downtown getting ready for Trump rally, so I’m not able to comment on this as much as I normally would. Needless to say, this is huge. Nick Denton has been defeated and his nasty creation is going up for sale. Today feels like the culmination of a long fight, but we’re not quite there yet. We also need to see where the new owners are going to take the place, whenever that happens. Reports seem to suggest that the Hogan case will need to be settled first. Hopefully he ends up getting his cash, from both Gawker Media and Denton personally.


UPDATE: Denton might try to buy back the actual Gawker site, since no one really wants it…

If a company like Ziff Davis doesn’t want Gawker.com — and might intend to shut it down — Denton “intends to buy it back,” one of Denton’s friends said Friday.

Right now Denton doesn’t have the money for it. But he continues to believe that he and Gawker Media will eventually prevail against Hogan through the appeals process.

If the courts side with Gawker, and if a new owner takes control of the company, and if that owner wants to shed Gawker.com, Denton could try to buy it back.

At that point, he’ll have tens of millions of dollars from the Gawker Media sale.

  1. This was always going to be their fate, from the moment they refused a judge’s order to take the tape down.

    Let it be a reminder, journalists, that if you act in bad faith and openly defy the law in pursuit of personal profit, sometimes justice will manage to catch you, and every time the common people have reason to hope the system can work for them more and more of your power ekes away. In an ideal world, this’d be the first of many such institutions brought low for their arrogance and greed.

    Today, it’s still Christmas in June.

  2. What happened, Nicky? Your buddy Pierre O. realized that it wasn’t worth his fortune to keep the dumpster inferno ablaze?

    I seriously hope that Peter Thiel buys Gawker out and puts Nero in charge of Jezebel (every article will be about how Feminism is Cancer) and Notch in charge of Kotaku (Patricia Hernandez will only be able to review games starring straight white men).

    1. Would any of these “Feminism is Cancer” articles be about how Fembusters is nothing but feminist propaganda and how the director is acting like a whiny little fuck boy over the criticism that it has been getting

    2. Funny how Pierre Omidyar went into an about-face right after light was shown in his general direction for supporting Gawker’s appeal. So much for that billionaire court brawl, I would’ve bought tickets to watch it on PPV.

      Milo taking charge of an online publication would be part of his plans, after all.

  3. It’s a glorious day when cretins like him have to sell up… I sure hope this rumour of the guy who backed eBay backing his side of the case is wrong.

    1. Funny thing, back in the day there used to be a Gawker site called Fleshbot, which was basically a porn site, and Jezebel was butt buddies with that.

      It would explain why Jezebel turned out to be such a bitch after Fleshbot was dissolved–lack of sex does that to thirsty people.

  4. Lash the ropes ’round them ivory towers, lads!
    Take firm your holds and resolves!
    Dig deep them heels and grip tight!
    Now, together
    We pull.

  5. They’re not getting out from under that lawsuit, judges are public figures themselves with friends and family of their own and they aren’t going to want to set a precedent that would make what gawker did a legally protected freedom of expression. I hope they do go all the way to the supreme court with their appeals, it’ll just bleed Denton completely dry and set federal precedent in such a way that more clickbait trash can get rekt going forward.

      1. They become mostly irrelevant if Trump wins the White House. Obama was wired into Silly-Con Valley from the word go and if Shillery wins he can hand his connections over to her, if Trump wins however then all those “progressive” companies that have been propping up the SJWs no longer have access to the executive branch. Then their biggest connection and the most powerful SJW in the country becomes Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts. Subsequently all the SJW infested regions then lose most of their pull in the federal government and the bad parts of academia likely get their government subsidies slashed.

        The better question is how to kill the “progressive” media. That I don’t see how to accomplish yet.

  6. Problem facing Denton, is even if he manages to win the appeal against Hogan, under federal bankruptcy statutes, he would be barred from purchasing the company back from another company. It’s rather hard to go into the specifics of how this works, but basically the laws in place state that any attempt by a previous owner to repurchase the property sold during both a chapter 11, and chapter 13 bankruptcy, are grounds for prosecution on bankruptcy fraud charges. In order to “buy back” the company, Denton would have to wait for the limitations to pass, which if memory serves, is a minimum of ten years.

  7. If the net value of Gawker was $250 million, like Denton claims, he could just get a loan to pay Hulk Hogan. Clearly it’s worth much less.

  8. You know, it would be really hilarious if ZD refuses to sell Gawker back, and repurposes the brand as a comedy network.

    Thinking about this, it would be a brilliant two-hit combo, blindsiding E.W. Scripps/Demand Media (Cracked.com & the content provider of those “Gamers & Dead” articles) at the same time.

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