Gawker, the Irreverent Gossip Site, Will Be Shuttered Again

Gawker is dead. Again.

Bustle Digital Group, which publishes Gawker, said on Wednesday that it would shutter the recently revived website and cut about 8 percent of the company’s total staff.

In an email to staff, Bryan Goldberg, the chief executive of BDG, said that despite a financially strong 2022, “we have found ourselves facing a surprisingly difficult” start to the year.

“BDG has made the decision to reprioritize some of our investments that better position the company for the direction we see the industry moving,” he wrote.

Mr. Goldberg bought the Gawker name for $1.35 million in 2018 at a bankruptcy auction. The irreverent gossip site helped define digital media in the 2000s. It was shut down in 2016 after its parent company at the time, Gawker Media, filed for bankruptcy after an invasion-of-privacy lawsuit by the former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan.

After a thwarted attempt at a Gawker reboot in 2019, Mr. Goldberg tapped the editor Leah Finnegan to finally bring the website back to life in July 2021.

In his note on Wednesday, Mr. Goldberg said: “We are proud of the site that Leah and her team built. Gawker published a lot of brilliant pieces in those nearly two years. But in this new reality, we have to prioritize our better monetized sites. It’s a business decision, and one that, reluctantly, must be made.”

BDG is the latest in a wave of media and tech companies to announce layoffs, as the advertising market slows and economic forecasts look uncertain. Dotdash Meredith, Vox Media and The Washington Post all announced layoffs last month.

In September, BDG, which publishes a variety of lifestyle brands like Bustle and Nylon, shut down the tech website Input and laid off most of the staff at the culture site Mic.

The Writers Guild of America, East, which represents workers at BDG, said in a statement that BDG laid off nearly 40 guild members on Wednesday.

“This is the third round of layoffs over the last six months that have effectively led to halving the original unit from 200 workers to just above 100 workers,” the guild said.

“Today’s latest round of layoffs, and the closure of Gawker, came after more than two years of attempting to bargain a first contract with BDG, and on the heels of more recent bargaining dates being outright canceled by the company.”

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