Gawker, Filing for Bankruptcy After Hulk Hogan Suit, Is for Sale
“It really was an incredibly bad year,” said Hamilton Nolan, a writer who has worked at Gawker for eight years. “I think they’ll study this in journalism schools one day as being the single worst year in media company history.”In Gawker’s new offices in Manhattan on Friday, the mood was somber. Around noon, Mr. Denton and Heather Dietrick, the company’s president and general counsel, held a meeting to inform employees of the company’s plans and provide reassurance that Gawker would operate as usual during the sale process.
“They emphasized that the future is uncertain, but for now we’re going to keep doing what we do, and that was useful for people to hear,” said Alex Pareene, the editor in chief of Gawker.
Employees said that few people had known before the meeting of the company’s decision to file for bankruptcy. A keg of beer was brought in and pizzas were ordered.
“It was not a raucous or even particularly depressing affair,” Mr. Pareene said. “We’ve had more depressing meetings and we’ve had more argumentative meetings.”
Gawker’s sites published posts assuring readers they were not going anywhere.
Filing for Chapter 11 stays claims from creditors, including court judgments — meaning Gawker will not need to begin paying the $140 million that was awarded in March to Mr. Bollea.
It also allows companies more time and more control as they reorganize themselves. In its bankruptcy filing, Gawker listed $50 million to $100 million in assets and $100 million to $500 million in liabilities. The company still plans to appeal the case.
Also on Friday, a judge in Pinellas County Circuit Court in Florida granted Gawker’s request for a stay of the judgment against it in the lawsuit, pending an appeal. That decision essentially became redundant once Gawker filed for bankruptcy.