to Shut Down Next Week

Nick Denton Gawker fbn

U.S. internet publisher Gawker Media Group said on Thursday that it would shut down next week, ending the online news and gossip website's 14-year run.

The decision comes two days after Univision Holdings Inc won a bankruptcy auction to acquire Gawker for $135 million, outbidding media company Ziff Davis LLC.

Univision's winning bid for Gawker will go before a U.S. bankruptcy judge later in the day.

Gawker - which also operates popular women's website Jezebel, tech blog Gizmodo and gaming website Kotaku - said near-term plans for the website's coverage and archives have not yet been finalized.

"Our other sites, including Kotaku, live on, but losing the vibrant hurts," tweeted Stephen Totilo, editor-in-chief of Kotaku.

Gawker sought bankruptcy in June after facing a $140 million court judgment following an invasion of privacy lawsuit from former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, over the publication of excerpts from a sex tape.

Gawker, which is known for its snarky celebrity and media industry gossip, had published a one-minute, 41-second edited video in 2012 featuring Hogan having sex with the wife of his then-best friend, radio "shock jock" personality Bubba the Love Sponge.

Hogan's lawsuit was bankrolled by billionaire investor Peter Thiel, after Gawker in 2007 published an article about Thiel's homosexuality.

The company's founder Nick Denton filed for personal bankruptcy this month to also seek protection from the judgment.

(Reporting by Aishwarya Venugopal and Narottam Medhora in Bengaluru; Editing by Anil D'Silva)