Controversial news and gossip web site Gawker Media may not be seeing the light of day again as its supposed relaunch in September has been put on hold indefinitely. At the same time that the postponement was announced, management laid off the entire staff.
A spokesperson for Bustle Digital Group (BDG) confirmed that BDG is indeed postponing the relaunch of Gawker. The spokesperson also said that the company will be focusing its resources and efforts towards its most recent acquisitions that include Mic, The Outline, Nylon, and Inverse.
Among those who were laid off from Gawker Media was the editor-in-chief Dan Peres, editorial director Carson Griffith, writer Nate Hopper, and sales exec Amanda Hale.
BDG Chief Executive Bryan Goldberg told the New York Post that BDG has encountered several challenges even from the early days of the website.
“It’s no secret that we have faced a number of challenges from the start,” Goldberg said. “We want to thank Dan Peres and the rest of the Gawker team who have worked tirelessly on this project. We’ve made a number of acquisitions over the last year and intend to focus our efforts on those brands.”
Some insider reports, however, tell a different story as evidenced by previous incidents that happened with the web site. For instance, earlier this year two Gawker reporters quit their posts even before the announcement of the relaunch was made. Gawker staffers also complained about Gawker Media’s editorial director Carson Griffin’s misbehavior that included making “offensive” comments.
Another incident was when a newly-hired editor quit his post after working for Gawker for only five months. The editor, Ben Barna told the Post that he was disappointed but still understands that BDG is running a business and difficult decisions have to made regardless of whether these decisions are favorable to staff or not.
A BDG representative told the New York Post that Chief Executive Goldberg will be circulating a memo to its employees about the fate of Gawker Media. Goldberg acquired Gawker Media from bankruptcy auction in June for $1.35 million. This was after the company lost a legal tussle against popular wrestler Hulk Hogan in 2016 when a Florida judge ruled in favor of the wrestle and requiring Gawker Media to pay $140 million.