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July 31, 2019updated 30 Sep 2022 8:09am

Gawker staff laid off as website’s relaunch pushed back

By James Walker

The relaunch of US gossip news website Gawker has been delayed as publisher Bustle Digital Group laid off staff set to work on the title.

Bustle Digital Group confirmed today that it is postponing the planned return of the site founded by Nick Denton, after it was brought down by a lawsuit from Terry Bollea, aka Hulk Hogan, three years ago.

The New York Post has reported that Gawker’s relaunch – it had been due to go live again next month – is “on hold indefinitely” and that BDG had made the website’s entire staff redundant, including editor Dan Peres.

A BDG spokesperson told Press Gazette: “We can confirm that we are postponing the Gawker launch. For now, we are focusing company resources and efforts on our most recent acquisitions, Mic, The Outline, Nylon and Inverse.”

The spokesperson said there were no job cuts in the UK.

The company did not answer Press Gazette’s questions about how many staff had been laid off, when Gawker might return and whether cuts would fall on its other brands.

BDG chief executive Bryan Goldberg, who bought Gawker for $1.35m at a bankruptcy auction last year, told the Post that he still planned to relaunch the website, but said it was “no secret” the project has “faced a number of challenges from the start”.

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The Daily Beast reported in January that Gawker’s only two full-time writers left the brand over “offensive” remarks they allege were made by editorial director Carson Griffith in the workplace.

Gawker was hit by a $140m legal judgment in its case against Hogan. The former pro-wrestler was funded by Peter Thiel, a tech billionaire who told the New York Times that he thought the website was “bullying people”.

Thiel was outed as gay by Gawker in a 2007 article and was also a subject of its Silicon Valley coverage.

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