Gawker Files For Bankruptcy While Ziff Davis Aims To Buy Kotaku
(Last Updated On: June 10, 2016)

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)

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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.

  • C G Saturation

    If the justice system wasn’t a piece of shit revolving around who has the most cash, I’d probably sue Gawker for pushing a false agenda that bullies, slanders and ultimately destroys the livelihood of artists and developers like myself.

    They are just another example that this world is broken as shit.

  • Hawk Hopper

    I was right about IGN basically buying Kotaku.

    • You were right on the money.

  • anopolis

    I actually liked kotaku a few years back…2008 i guess..then literally, you could see them turn..when, whats his nuts left….they turned hard. the website i loved to visit put nothing but liberal shit up. so I quit them…and unlike cowboys and some broken mountain i quit hard…so now to see them, and their masters falling..its bitter sweet..good riddance you assfaced hippy sons of bitches thats what you get for forcing progressive shit down our collective throats..right now I’m giving kotaku and all it’s editors the middle finger…they can’t see it, but hot damn its a finger full of righteous victory…razzle dazzle!!! my fingers heating up!!!! ITS ON FIRE!!!

    • It was 2012.

      In 2012 Gawker changed… they wanted commerce journalism to take over. They wanted to focus on “emotion-driven” content. It’s why you could practically see the hairpin turn they took. The entire focus had shifted and how content was being distributed had changed.

      Part of this is also in how content aggregators dictate how news is filtered to the public. Even now, sites like Google, Reddit, Facebook and Bing have very specific stances on the kind of news they want on their platform and how it can be broadcast to the general public. It’s BS from top to bottom.

      • anopolis

        oh, i’m well aware of the level of much BS i choked a bit when it first started hitting me in the face. I”ve since gone “dark” as far as twitter/facebook/bing…what bothers me the most is how widespread this is. this isn’t some gaming news issue…or even entertainment..its literally everywhere..major networks have sold their soul, so to speak. I feel sorry for all the youngsters too young to remember when it was “global Cooooling” that was all the rage…it’s everywhere…journalists are either outright liars or they drank the kool-aid so long ago they don’t even realize their folly..that is terrifying to me….hell most journalists are too young to understand drinking the kool-aid……fuck me i’m getting old…when did that happen????

        • It is frightening… it’s the thing that makes me fear for the future. At this rate history will be rewritten by scoundrels wielding a digital pen and a nametag that reads “Victim”.

          • anopolis

            well..keep doing what you’re doing…hire more peeps…branch out…keep em honest..all the while trying to not become a cynical ass yourself..gaming is fun and all…but there are some big ole fish to fry

          • Definitely looking to hire more staff, but I’ll be honest… the prospect of bringing someone in who has their own political agenda would just make it so much more of a hassle than it needs to be. It’s scary because a lot of people may start off fresh but then they may have that SJW side to them.

            There are a few people I’ve had on my radar but I’m going to wait to see how it all pans before bringing in new blood.

  • Arbitrary

    So Jezebel gets to continue existing?

    Those are depressing news.

    • Not quite. They’ll be acquired (assuming Ziff Davis goes through with it) but they could be rebranded or shifted and gulped up into one of the company’s other media outlets. I think they’re likely going to want to buy up all of Gawker’s assets and then assess each one to see what’s profitable and what’s not.

  • DizzyGear

    Good riddance. I cant think of a more appropriate song to see them off.