Gawker founder and CEO Nick Denton says that in spite of last week's bankruptcy filing, things are just fine at Gawker Media.
And even though most of the Gawker brands are expected to survive (and in Denton’s view, flourish in spite of) the company’s imminent sale, Denton acknowledges that a buyer might not want the flagship Gawker.com site.
Nonetheless, Denton today promised in a post on Gawker that the site will live on, in some way.
"The [Gawker] brand is more famous than ever; if it does not fit an acquirer’s portfolio, Gawker.com will find an investor with a tolerance for controversy," Denton wrote. "I will happily contribute."
Gawker Media announced last week that it was entering Chapter 11 bankruptcy, and had agreed to a purchase by publisher Ziff-Davis.
Over the summer, other companies will get to bid on Gawker, meaning that the sub-$100 million tender from Ziff-Davis will almost certainly be countered by other offers.
But the Ziff-Davis agreement is a useful look at what prospective bidders think makes Gawker Media valuable. And because Gawker.com was left off the list of Gawker Media brands that Ziff-Davis plans to keep alive — Deadspin, Gizmodo, Jezebel, etc. — it suggests that some buyers believe the Gawker brand is too toxic to hang onto.
For the Gawker Media rank-and-file, the uncertainty means (as one staffer put it to Recode) it’s "open season" on Gawker employees for other publishers looking to hire away talent.
In his post today, Denton focused on the few silver linings in Gawker’s present predicament.
For example, it’s now out in the open that tech billionaire Peter Thiel is trying to sue Gawker into oblivion. Yesterday, Gawker wrote about receiving a cease-and-desist letter from the lawyer Thiel enlisted in his anti-Gawker campaign, asking for the takedown of an investigation of Donald Trump’s hair. The development quickly became the topic of conversation for virtually everyone working in media with a modestly active Twitter account.
Denton is grateful that people are now aware of the threat to journalism posed by Thiel's efforts, and that "if you take a long view, the system is working as it should."
Or as Denton puts it, channeling the tone of "newly laid-back Jezebel," everything is "fine."
You can read Denton’s full note here.
It’s fine!!!— Emma Carmichael (@emmacargo) June 15, 2016
Nick Denton discusses Gawker just prior to the bankruptcy filing
This article originally appeared on Recode.net.