"Uplifting" female lifestyle site LittleThings is making a bid for another big-name women's media outlet: Gawker's Jezebel blog. Today, LittleThings announced that it had put in a $10 million bid for Jezebel, whose owner declared bankruptcy earlier this summer as a result of its costly legal battle with Hulk Hogan. Gawker is currently in the midst of being auctioned off.
"Adding Jezebel's 10 million monthly readers to our 50 million will further strengthen LittleThings' reach, audience, and editorial and branded content offerings, making it well worth the investment," said LittleThings co-founder and CEO Joe Speiser, in a statement. "This potential acquisition will allow LittleThings to tap into an established younger, millennial demographic to leverage each site's unique female-focused content to a broader audience."
But there are two very important catches, as Recode pointed out. First of all, Jezebel isn't up for sale as an individual property. After declaring bankruptcy, Gawker Media announced that it would go up for sale as a whole company, which includes seven blog brands plus various other assets. Then there's the fact that final bids for Gawker Media were due at 5 p.m. yesterday, which makes LittleThings' bid—which it says its executives submitted "late today"—a day too late.
So what does LittleThings have to gain from publicizing a bid for Jezebel? Some needed buzz could certainly be part of it. After launching in 2015, LittleThings saw its audience expand rapidly, thanks in large part to its success on Facebook. But in the wake of the social network's recent publisher-unfriendly changes to its algorithm—the company announced last month that content shared by users' friends and family would now take precedence over news stories in their feeds—content creators like LittleThings aren't getting nearly as much attention.
If LittleThings does continue its pursuit of Jezebel, it will have to do so through Gawker's new owner, which will likely be either Ziff Davis or Univision, according to reports. (Vox Media, Penske Media and New York Magazine are also said to be among the possible bidders.) The winning bidder should be known by the end of the week.