Under New Owner, Gawker Is Getting Relaunched

It's likely returning in the first half of 2019

Bustle Digital Group announced its plans Tuesday.

Gawker is relaunching, likely in the first half of 2019.

A holding company owned and managed by Bustle Digital Group founder Bryan Goldberg won a bankruptcy auction for the website and its assets in July for reportedly less than $1.5 million.

“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 said in an email to Bustle Digital Group staffers, obtained by Adweek. “In so doing, we aim to create something new, vibrant, highly relevant, and worth visiting daily.”

Gawker’s fate has been up in the air for some time.

Gawker Media filed for bankruptcy in June 2016 after former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan (real name Terry Bollea) brought a lawsuit claiming the website caused him emotional pain after he was featured in a sex tape it published. Bollea won a $115 million verdict.

After about 13 years of publishing, Gawker.com, where the work is archived but nothing new has been posted, shut down in August 2016.

Bustle Digital Group includes Bustle, Romper, and recently acquired properties including The Zoe Report, Elite Daily and Flavorpill.

Gawker will exist separately from those companies and within a “separate corporate subsidiary,” but will share resources with Bustle Digital Group, Goldberg said.

Amanda Hale, previously of Talking Points Memo and, most recently, Outline, will be Gawker’s publisher.

“Gawker is inarguably one of the most important publications of this century, and I firmly believe that its sudden suspension cannot—and should not—be the end of its story,” Hale said in a statement. “Leading this brand is a role I take very seriously, and the first item on my list is to solidify our plan to ensure the Gawker archive has a safe and permanent home. We’ll be providing details on that in the coming weeks. I am tremendously excited for the years ahead.”

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.