Gawker, the internet’s favorite watering hole of the early aughts, and one that has been destroyed by vengeful CEO Peter Thiel when set to silence the website with the help of Hulk Hogan, is making a return in 2019, now acquired by Bryan Goldberg of Bustle Media.
If you were online during the early 2010’s, there were few places as incredible and often controversial as Gawker. Gawker was sold as a gossip website but it was so much more than that, as it offered news and blind items, reporting on stories that other outlets were afraid to touch. Before Hannibal Buress did his now famous stand up set that took down Bill Cosby, Gawker reported on the rape allegations first in a story titled “Who Wants to Remember Bill Cosby’s Multiple Sex-Assault Accusations?”. Additionally, the stories about Louis CK’s multiple sexual assaults were first adressed in public by Gawker in the article “Which Beloved Comedian Likes to Force Female Comics to Watch Him Jerk Off?”.
Gawker was always a source that reported things other outlets wouldn’t or couldn’t — for better or for worse, but ultimately, in a net good. Its destruction by Peter Thiel was considered a breach on journalism by those who could afford to make such a breach (and not the last one to do so) and its return is beyond welcome. Its new owner released a statement through Variety, saying they want to build on Gawker’s success, learn from its missteps, and build something “vibrant, highly relevant, and worth visiting daily.”
The letter is quoted below:
Over the last two months, many of you have inquired about Gawker and until now, there hasn’t been much to report. We’ve used that time to have a lot of conversations, which have greatly informed what will happen next. We can now confirm Gawker will relaunch, probably in the first half of 2019. We won’t recreate Gawker exactly as it was, but we will build upon Gawker’s legacy and triumphs — and learn from its missteps. In so doing, we aim to create something new, vibrant, highly relevant, and worth visiting daily.
Additionally, we are excited to announce that we have hired Amanda Hale, an incredibly talented leader who will help us with the Gawker relaunch and serve as Publisher. Amanda joins us most recently from The Outline, which she was instrumental in launching and building. She is the right person for this important job, and I’m very excited to work with her.
Gawker will be completely distinct from our other properties and sit within a separate corporate subsidiary. That said, it will have access to our shared resources, technology, and business platform.
This is an exciting time for us and we are thrilled to share the news with all of you first. As plans progress and we have further updates to share, we’ll continue to keep the team informed.
What do you think of the return of Gawker? Could Gawker reclaim its voice after such a long time gone? Let us know in the comments or on Twitter at @WhatsTrending.