gazers will be closed for the second time.
After an initial shutdown following a lawsuit by wrestler Hulk Hogan, the pop culture and satire website was acquired by Bustle Digital Group CEO Bryan Goldberg for $1.35 million in the summer of 2018. Bustle relaunched the site in July 2021, led by Editor-in-Chief Leah Finnegan.
Finnegan tweeted that the site is now closing again.
“Well, after an incredible 1.5 years, BDG has decided that Gawker 2.0 is over. I can’t say enough about how proud I am of the site and all the brilliant people who worked on it and what an incredible shame it is. I had a great time and I love you,” Finnegan said inside her tweet Wednesday.
The Writers Guild of America, East, which represents gazers Staff said about 40 staff were laid off, including eight members from gazers, while the others were part-timers from BDG’s women’s and lifestyle websites. The union also called for negotiations with the BDG on the decision.
“WGAE is appalled by BDG’s decision to fire nearly 40 of our unit members. This is the third round of layoffs in the past six months, effectively halving the original unit from 200 workers to just over 100 workers. Today’s latest round of layoffs and the closure of gazerscame after more than two years of trying to negotiate an initial contract with BDG and after more recent negotiation dates were canceled outright by the company.
“The decisions BDG made today have real consequences for workers who have lost their livelihoods. Most of these layoffs decimate the jobs of part-time workers in the unit — workers who were already being paid below industry standards and receiving no other benefits from the company other than accrued sick time, which is mandatory under most state laws. Tough economic times and rising inflation are already posing greater challenges for our members, and we expect the company to be more generous with their severance pay than they have been in previous rounds of layoffs.
“WGAE is requesting that it negotiate with BDG on this decision and the implications of the layoffs — something the company is required to do under federal labor law,” the union said in a statement.
A spokesman for BDG did not immediately respond to a request for comment. But after a series of takeovers of once high-flying digital publications – microphone, elite daily – as well as old brands like nylon And WBDG, led by Goldberg, reduces its stakes. gazers‘s re-shuttering comes after BDG shut down the tech site Entry last September.
Gawker Media, founded in 2003 by Nick Denton, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2016 after a Florida judge returned a $140 million final judgment in favor of Hulk Hogan. Hogan sued the site after it released a sextape of the wrestler. It later emerged that billionaire investor Peter Thiel had supported this lawsuit and other legal battles against the company.
As part of the bankruptcy proceedings, the company auctioned off its other assets, including blogs gizmodo, Jezebel and dead spinfor $135 million to Univision, which then sold those brands to private equity firm Great Hill Partners in 2019.
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