Gawker quietly relaunches, asks readers for an ‘open mind and heart’

Gawker — the snarky gossip web site that went bankrupt 5 years in the past due to a lawsuit over a Hulk Hogan intercourse tape — quietly relaunched on Wednesday, begging readers to have an “open thoughts and an open coronary heart.”

Picked up at a bankruptcy auction three years ago by Bustle Digital Group, the positioning reappeared in a 3rd iteration after Bustle’s headstrong CEO Bryan Goldberg tried to resuscitate the toxic site twice before.

Information spilled out this spring that Gawker was making its debut however no particular date was given. A Bustle spokeswoman confirmed that the positioning launched within the wee hours of Wednesday morning, however declined to offer particulars as to why it was making such a low-key debut.

Leah Finnegan, a sharp-tongued author and editor who was tapped to helm Gawker earlier this 12 months, provides hints in her letter from the editor, which sits on the homepage alongside a doctored picture of “The Resurrection of Christ,” by which Jesus is holding a Gawker flag and superimposed pictures of Lena Dunhan’s head and the Phillie Phanatic mascot watch under.

Bustle Digital Group Bryan Goldberg
Bryan Goldberg, CEO of Bustle Digital Group, purchased Gawker at a chapter public sale in 2018.

“When Bustle Digital Group first approached me to revive Gawker final 12 months, I stated completely no approach in hell,” Finnegan writes. “Who in God’s identify would would wish to edit an internet site that was cratered by an evil tech lord and sullied by a botched relaunch? The Gawker identify was poisonous, but additionally weirdly revered; an intractable mixture.”

Over time, Finnegan warmed to the thought, which is fortunate for Goldberg, who spent the early days of the pandemic approaching a great deal of New York-based journalists to take the gig. The chief concern for many was the positioning’s troubled previous and the obvious lack of clear path for its future, sources informed The Put up.

That previous included then-Gawker proprietor Nick Denton dropping a $140 million invasion-of-privacy lawsuit to Hulk Hogan over the positioning’s posting a video of the wrestler having intercourse along with his finest buddy’s spouse. That debacle prompted the positioning to shutter and file for chapter in 2016. Goldberg, who was typically mocked by Denton’s Gawker as a “clueless scamp,” purchased the positioning for $1.35 million.

Hulk Hogan
Wrestler Hulk Hogan put Gawker out of enterprise when he received a $140 million judgment in opposition to the positioning.
Getty Pictures

Goldberg tried to relaunch the positioning two years later underneath Carson Griffith, however earlier than it obtained off the bottom, the Day by day Beast wrote a narrative accusing Griffith of making racist and homophobic remarks to her tiny relaunch workers. The kerfuffle landed in the courts and it tripped up the launch.

A 12 months later, Goldberg tapped former Particulars editor in chief Dan Peres, however the editor had bother hiring staffers and had couldn’t get the relaunch off the bottom.

Nick Denton
Gawker founder Nick Denton shuttered the positioning and filed for chapter in 2016.
Stephen Yang

With this in thoughts, Finnegan requested readers to “method this new iteration of Gawker with an open thoughts and an open coronary heart,” as they scroll by way of the extremely stylized web site and eclectic columns like “Ask a F-k up,” self-mocking posts like “Right here’s what some individuals take into consideration Gawker coming again” and irreverent gadgets entitled: “Adam Neuman noticed within the Hamptons with a pizza and a rabbi,” or “Do Justin and Hailey Bieber hate one another?”

“We’re right here to make you chuckle, I hope, and assume, and do a spit-take or furrow your forehead, or perhaps go ‘huh!’ or ‘wow!’ or ‘rattling!’ or ‘what the f-k?’ or ‘I’m glad somebody lastly stated it!,”‘ concludes Finnegan. “So, I hope you prefer it. And should you don’t, that’s actually extra of a ‘you’ drawback, I believe.” | Gawker quietly relaunches, asks readers for an ‘open thoughts and coronary heart’


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