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USA TODAY rips GAWKER’s And NICK DENTON’S Facade and Cover-up Scheme

USA TODAY rips GAWKER’s And NICK DENTON’S Facade and Cover-up Scheme

– USA Today Exposes Nick Denton’s heinous scum-pit as political attack dog

– Reveals that the “big change” at Gawker Media is no change at all. Just the same blood sucking leech, but now with lipstick on

– Gay abuse charges against Denton stacking up

– Hulk Hogan lawsuit even more likely to take Gawker down

Gawker files bankruptcy after Hogan lawsuit as Ziff Davis shows interest

USA TODAY’s Roger Yu discusses Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit led to Gawker’s demise. USA TODAY

Gawker Media, which was recently ordered to pay about $140 million to Hulk Hogan, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday and put its assets up for sale, conceding its difficult future following a contentious invasion-of-privacy lawsuit brought by the former wrestler.

Ziff Davis, the digital publisher of AskMen, PCMag and Computer Shopper, has placed a bid for Gawker’s assets — with $100 million as the opening price — prior to an auction that will be supervised by the bankruptcy court, according to a person familiar with the matter. The person wasn’t authorized to speak publicly.

Ziff Davis plans to buy Gawker’s blogs — but not assume its liabilities — if no other offer emerges. The court must approve the sale’s price and terms. The auction is expected to begin in late July.

Gawker’s properties, which include Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Deadspin, are expected to continue operations during bankruptcy proceedings.

“There’s a tremendous fit between the two organizations,” Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah wrote in a staff memo that was obtained by USA TODAY.

Nick Denton, founder of the online media company, had been considering selling Gawker’s blogs after a judge denied last month its motion to seek a new trial.

In its filing with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York, Gawker listed estimated assets of $50 million to $100 million and liabilities of $100 million to $500 million.

Gawker couldn’t immediately be reached for comment. 

Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, sued Gawker for $100 million after the site posted a video in 2012 of him having sex with his former best friend’s wife. Hogan argued in court that it was a violation of his privacy, and a Florida jury awarded him $55 million for economic injuries and $65 million for emotional distress.

Gawker also has to pay $25 million in punitive damages. Gawker is appealing the ruling.

In Gawker’s bankruptcy filing, Bollea (Hogan) was listed as its largest creditor.  Other creditors include law firm Morrison Cohen; insurance brokerage Risk Strategies; content-distribution firm SimpleReach; and Google.

Hogan tweeted Friday: “What a beautiful day, and the good doesn’t prevent the better! In the present I AM always grateful, only good happens to me.” 

The case has been a hot topic of discussion in media, technology and entertainment circles after it was revealed that Hogan had a financial backer in Silicon Valley. Billionaire Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, admitted last month that he secretly spent about $10 million to fund Hogan’s lawsuit because, as he told The New York Times, Gawker was “getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest.”

In 2007, Valleywag, a Gawker blog, posted a story about Thiel — “Peter Thiel is totally gay, people.”

Thiel’s role in Hogan’s lawsuit triggered heated public debate about the ethics of third-party-funded lawsuits and concerns about the possibility of cash-strapped media companies’ First Amendment rights being suppressed by wealthy individuals through lengthy and expensive lawsuits.

The bankruptcy “drives home what’s been the message of the Gawker case all along — that today the media can’t necessarily be as confident as they once were that they can publish with impunity,” says Samantha Barbas, a law professor at the University at Buffalo Law School. “The public’s overwhelming support for Hulk Hogan in this case, and its apparent distaste for Gawker, are signs that the public — and perhaps the courts — are no longer willing to take an ‘anything goes’ approach to newsworthiness.”  

Gawker Media filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Friday, June 10. Here is what you need to know about the network and what led to the bankruptcy. USA TODAY

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