Gawker to make comeback bid under new owner

Last Updated Sep 12, 2018 12:29 PM EDT

Gawker — the media and politics blog notorious for blurring the line of what’s acceptable in gossip and muckraking — is making another run, starting next year.

The blog will relaunch under the ownership of Bryan Goldberg, the founder and CEO of Bustle, who paid $1.35 million for the remaining assets of Gawker Media in July. 

Goldberg outlined his plan Tuesday in a memo cited in multiple media accounts and first obtained by Variety

“We won’t recreate Gawker exactly as it was, but we will build upon Gawker’s legacy and triumphs — and learn from its missteps,” Goldberg wrote in the memo to his employees. “In so doing, we aim to create something new, vibrant, highly relevant and worth visiting daily.”

The relaunched Gawker will be “completely distinct from our other properties and sit within a separate corporate subsidiary,” Goldberg said in his memo. The new Gawker will use Bustle’s shared resources, technology and business platform, he added.

Amanda Hale, most recently chief revenue officer of The Outline, a culture website, has been hired as publisher of the new Gawker, Goldberg said.

Bustle confirmed the hiring of Hale and plans for an early 2019 launch.

Hale’s “first project will be to solidify a plan to ensure the Gawker archives have a safe and permanent home,” a spokesperson for the company emailed. “We will be investing significant resources in this relaunch, and we will continue to make further announcements as plans progress.”

Founded in 2003 by British journalist Nick Denton, Gawker has been dormant since filing for bankruptcy in 2016 and selling most of its assets to Univision for $135 million.

It unraveled upon losing an invasion of privacy lawsuit filed by former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan after the site published a compromising video of Hogan with the wife of a friend. Hogan’s suit was financed by Silicon Valley billionaire investor Peter Thiel, outed as gay by Gawker in 2007. 

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