Gawker Files For Bankruptcy While Ziff Davis Aims To Buy Kotaku

Nick Denton, owner of Gawker, has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy. The owner of the salacious news-mongering gossip conglomerate has conceded a great deal in his fight against wrestling mega-star, Hulk Hogan.

According to the New York Post, Gawker has about $50 million up to $100 million in assets and anywhere between $100 million and $500 million in liabilities.

The judge over the case involving Hulk Hogan suing Gawker for the revenge porn they posted on their site saw Gawker having to pay out the Hulkster $130 million in punitive damages. Gawker couldn’t afford to pay it, so Denton filed for bankruptcy and is attempting to use loans to stay afloat while they attempt to appeal the ruling.

Gawker’s restructuring executive, William Holden, explained why Gawker is now filing for bankruptcy, explaining in the court papers…

“Historically, the company’s financial health was good; it survived the 2008-2009 recession and was profitable from 2010 until 2015,” […]


“However, despite its long running success and commendable growth trajectory, Gawker Media suffered this year from exorbitant legal expenses and the recent judgment totaling more than $130 million,”

Gawker has borrowed equally exorbitant amounts of money from lenders in order to keep fighting against Hulk Hogan. They just recently borrowed up to $22 million to stay in the court’s ring as they attempt to avoid being buried (financially) by Hulk Hogan.

According to Re/Code IGN’s parent company, Ziff Davis, is eying up to seven of Gawker’s subsidiaries, but they don’t mention which ones.

According to a press release from Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah, they would add Kotaku, Gizmodo, Jezebel, Lifehacker, Jalopnik, Deadspin and the general Gawker domain to their cache. Shah explains…

“In the event we become the acquirer, the additions of Gizmodo, Lifehacker and Kotaku would fortify our position in consumer tech and gaming. With the addition of Jalopnik, Deadspin and Jezebel, we would broaden our position as a lifestyle publisher.”

The idea of Kotaku being under the Ziff Davis label would likely leave a lot of gamers confused about what they plan on doing with the property: would they still publish false information or easily disprovable falsehoods? Would they finally put an ethics policy into place? Would they begin fact-checking or having editors go over the facts made by the authors?

Ziff Davis has tried steering clear of #GamerGate, and has even complied to the requests of clearer ethics policies in some cases, opposite of #GamerGate’s arch nemesis, Gawker. The media corporation and its subsidiaries have been fighting with #GamerGate since 2014 and now things finally appear to be going the way of the consume revolt.

At this point in time, the hashtag now works as a watch dog, pointing out ethical violations and federal breaches made by media corporations, both big and small. Many outlets, such as and VG 24/7, have also come into compliance with the requests of #GamerGate (although some do it more willingly than others). So it would be interesting to see if ethics in journalism would become a priority at Kotaku under Ziff Davis’ leadership.

(Main image courtesy of Fozzy22)


Billy has been rustling Jimmies for years covering video games, technology and digital trends within the electronics entertainment space. The GJP cried and their tears became his milkshake. Need to get in touch? Try the Contact Page.

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