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Gawker.com, the gossip blog that began 14 years ago in New York City and grew into a media empire, will shut down next week, according to a statement posted on its website.
The decision to shut down the snarky site comes after Univision's successful $135 million bid this week to take over six of the other websites in Gawker Media's portfolio. It was widely believed that any winning bidder would shutter Gawker.com, considered a toxic asset.
J.K. Trotter, a Gawker reporter, wrote in a statement the company's outgoing CEO, Nick Denton, had told staffers the news on Thursday.
"The near-term plans for Gawker.com’s coverage, as well as the site’s archives, have not yet been finalized," he wrote.
Gawker was on the losing end of a $140 million invasion-of-privacy lawsuit with Hulk Hogan, after the website posted graphic material of the wrestler having sex with the wife of his friend, shock jock Bubba the Love Sponge Clem, who is thought to have recorded and released the video without Hogan's permission.
Following the lawsuit, it was revealed Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel helped bankroll the wrestler's lawsuit against Gawker, along with several others against the company.
Thiel, who was outed as gay by Gawker's now-defunct tech blog Valleywag in 2007, told the New York Times in May of this year that his involvement is "less about revenge and more about specific deterrence."
“I saw Gawker pioneer a unique and incredibly damaging way of getting attention by bullying people even when there was no connection with the public interest," he said.
Gawker CEO Nick Denton has spoken out about Thiel's "vendetta," calling him a "thin-skinned billionaire who, despite all the success and public recognition that a person could dream of, seethes over criticism and plots behind the scenes to tie up his opponents in litigation he can afford better than they."