Broadcasting company Univision has just revealed that it won’t be continuing operations of recently acquired Gawker.com. Gawker is an online news websites that predominantly focuses on celebrity gossip. Ironically, broadcasting giant Univision has only recently acquired Gawker at a government mandated auction for a sum of $135 million dollars.
Gawker.com is set to close permanently next week and its staff of about fifty employees are expected to be fired. Univision will however keep some of Gawkers’ assets open. This includes sites such as Lifehacker, Deadspin, Gizmodo Jezebel and other online platforms.
Part of the reason that Univision has decided not to continue operating Gawker is that the online gossip and news column was the the subject of a hefty lawsuit instigated by Hulk Hogan. Gawker leaked a sex video of Hulk Hogan in a piece that was written on its website in 2012. Hogan sued Gawker for $140 million and won. An appeal by Gawker Media was struck down by a judge. The company as a result has filed for bankruptcy.
Univision who now owns Gawker says that it will let the company go bankrupt and shut it down. Employees at Gawker thought that Univision would stand up for what some emplyoees have called fearless journalism but it seems Univision would rather let the company go out of business than step in to help the beleaguered Gawker. You can’t blame Univision. $140 million dollars is a large sum of money even for a broadcasting giant such as themselves.
By the way, have you wondered how online news and gossip sites like Gawker make money? They do so through paid advertisements on their websites. Visitors are subjected to highly targeted ads based on their browsing history. Furthermore Gawker often features links to commercial partners who will share a piece of the sales or a commission with Gawker. Celebrity gossip is a big draw and Gawker gets millions of viewers. Where there is a lot of viewers, companies will be willing to shell out big bucks to advertise their products. This is how online portals like Gawker make money. They do it through online advertising.