Gawker Slims Down for The New Year

Gawker Media is capping off 2008 by selling two of its blogs — Consumerist and the Hollywood gossip site Defamer. Yesterday, two weeks after FishbowlNY broke the story of talks between the two companies, The New York Times reported that Consumers Union, the publisher of Consumer Reports, is buying the customer watchdog blog Consumerist from Gawker Media. In the article, the paper quotes Gawker publisher Nick Denton saying that he’s also “in talks” to sell the Hollywood gossip site Defamer. FishbowlNY has exclusively learned that, later in the afternoon, Denton sent out an email to his site leads revealing that Defamer has actually already been sold. Denton told his top editors that public announcement of the sale will come later today.

Denton put the Consumerist up for sale in mid-November at the same time that he folded his tech-industry gossip blog Valleywag into Defamer was never put on sale, but in his email, Denton says the company was approached about the site a few months ago and has been in talks with the buyer ever since. Denton’s missive did not reveal who will be purchasing Defamer, but that news should come out when the sale is officially announced later today.

The past year has been turbulent for Gawker Media. Back in April, the company sold three blogs — Wonkette, Gridskipper, and Idolator. In October, Gawker let go of 19 employees, and earlier this month, they began a new series of layoffs. In his note, Denton reassured his top editors that he’s expecting there to be no more major changes at Gawker Media in the near future, although he made no promises about what will happen at his company in the coming year.