Gawker, Parent Company of Jalopnik, Files for Bankruptcy

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
gawker parent company of jalopnik files for bankruptcy

Reuters is reporting that Gawker Media, parent company of automotive website Jalopnik, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

A judge recently ordered the company to pay $140 million in damages after it aired a 2007 sex tape featuring former wrestler Hulk Hogan, who then sued Gawker for invasion of privacy. The company had requested a stay, but was denied based on the terms they laid out.

The New York Times reports that Gawker Media will now put itself up for sale, according to a source close to the matter. The source claims the company is starting a yet-to-be announced auction, and that digital media company ZiffDavis already submitted a starting bid of $90 million to $100 million.

The online media company, founded and owned by Nick Denton, launched its namesake website in 2003. It since spawned a number of sites, including Deadspin, Kotaku, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Jezebel and Jalopnik.

Denton argued his First Amendment rights allowed the company to post the leaked Hogan tape, which was posted to Gawker in 2012. The trial wrapped up in March, with the jury awarding Hogan $115 million in compensation. That tally was later bumped upward by $25 million, despite the fact that Hogan (whose real name is Terry Bollea) had only asked for $100 million.

Wealthy technology investor Peter Thiel admitted to bankrolling Bollea’s legal action.

Gawker started the appeal process soon after, but the Florida judge overseeing the case denied the company a new trial in late May. The company still plans to appeal.

Filing for bankruptcy could allow the company to continue its operations. Earlier this year, Gawker sold its minority stake in an investment company to prepare for the trial.

Gawker Media is worth about $83 million, according to figures that came out during the trail, and owns assets worth between $50 million and $100 million.

[Image: Scott Beale/ Flickr]

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  • 05lgt 05lgt on Jun 11, 2016

    What about this makes so many act as if Jalopnik is going away? This is about changing ownership, not disolution at the J level. Even the Gawker empire will likely stay one unit if the memtioned sale goes through.

  • DownUnder2014 DownUnder2014 on Jul 25, 2016

    Eh, I rarely read Jalopnik so it doesn't (and hasn't) affected me too much at all.

  • Azfelix From certain angles the bonnet appears oversized with respect to the rest of the car - like a skinny teenager wearing a bulky sweater nicked from her older sister's wardrobe.
  • Tassos This is way too god damned OLD, 21 years old to have all the necessary options you need TODAY. You need a 10 year old or less car. AND if you give us THIS POS, a 21 year old model, that is not even a LUXURY car, whoever pays $10k for a Golf, And I Do NOT care what anniversary it is (they are all UTTERLY INSIGNIFICANT) deserves to get this MOST UNRELIABLE AND COSTLY TO REPAIR OF ALL LOUSY ECONOBOXES< EVEN THE DOMESTICS AND THE KOREANS.
  • Tassos As you say, Toyota confirmed this on TUESDAY. Today is WEDNESDAY. Why is everything on TTAC held back one or more days before you tell us the NEWS when it is NO MORE THE NEWS?
  • MRF 95 T-Bird You can find a decent and far more stylish Audi TT or an S4 of a similar vintage for under $10k.
  • RHD "In all situations, the grip of the tires (225/40R18 front, 225/35R18 rear) brings with it road noise."Are the rear tires actually smaller than the fronts??!! Adding just a bit of sidewall would take care of the bumps and rough ride. I'm not a fan of BMWs, personally, but this is a very enjoyable car. There are times when driving a convertible is pure bliss, and with a bit of power it's fun as well. (And certainly a better drive than a gussied-up, overpriced German taxicab!)