– Follow Allum Bokhari
“Gawker, … known for its left-wing slant, has of course been in trouble for some time. Even before the outcome of the Hulk Hogan sex tape trial, which saw the new media site slapped with an eye-watering fine of $140 million, Gawker was on the ropes. The site’s traffic stalled, and then started a precipitous decline in late 2015.
Gawker’s traffic is lower today than it was when they published the Hogan video in October, 2012, nearly 4 years ago pic.twitter.com/zVoM94MbJb
— David Auerbach (@AuerbachKeller) March 17, 2016
Then, last November, the site gutted its verticals, cutting seven full-time editorial positions and pivoting to a political editorial focus. Although Gawker reportedly has new financial backing — from Russian oligarchs, no less — the site is still in dire straits traffic-wise. In retrospect, perhaps destroying people’s careers for politically incorrect jokes on Twitter and pointlessly outing gay chief executives wasn’t the best way to appeal to a millennial audience.
In their ascendancy, many of these new media outlets left a trail of victims in their wake — many of whom are no doubt feeling a great sense of schadenfreude these days. Gawker in particular delighted in “outing” politically incorrect social media users to its devoted left-wing readers, who would typically respond by showering the individuals’ employers with complaints until they were fired.
Gawker’s victims included former Business Insider CTO Pax Dickinson and former marketing consultant Justine Sacco. Author and journalist Jon Ronson would eventually redefine Gawker’s tactics as a modern-day form of ritual public humiliation in his 2015 book So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed.
Eventually, Gawker’s attempts to position itself as inquisitors-in-chief of the web would backfire spectacularly. Their attempts to demonize the gaming community in 2014 cost them “six figures” in advertising revenue, after legions of gamers bombarded the site’s advertisers with complaints….”
Hulk Hogan Discovers Nick Denton and Gawker Hiding Dirty Money In Europe
### Nick Denton has a secret cash stash overseas
### Is this payola money from Denton’s “Hit-Jobs”?
### “Following the money may lead to kick-backs from Washington, DC.
### Is Gawker actually just a front for White House hit jobs?
Gawker’s stated net worth of $83 million seems as phony as a WWE bout — and Hulk Hogan’s lawyers want access to confidential documents to try to prove it, according to court papers.
The gossip site and its owner, Nick Denton, last month were ordered to pay the pro wrestler $140 million for violating his privacy by posting a sex tape involving him and a then-friend’s wife.
But Denton may try to get out of paying a required $50 million bond and the final judgment by lying about his and the company’s worth, the documents charge.
Denton, who is Hungarian and British, appears to have hidden millions of dollars in Gawker profits through inflated licensing fees to a Hungary-based sister company, the documents charge.
“In my opinion, it’s very hypocritical that Mr. Denton continues to cloak himself in the Constitution while it also appears he’s expatriating great sums of money to Eastern Europe, potentially to avoid taxation and creditor issues,” Hogan’s lawyer, David Houston, told The Post.
In a Florida courtroom in March, the jury was told that Gawker is worth only $83 million, while Denton’s net worth is $121 million — largely based on his shares in Gawker’s parent company, Gawker Media Group Inc.
GMGI is valued at $267 million; Denton has a $117 million portion of it.
Gawker has refused to give up a document called a “transfer pricing study” that would determine whether the fees are inflated, citing lawyer-client privilege, according to court papers.
Gawker has claimed that the $140 million jury award would be “ruinous” to its business, in a bid to get the judge to slash the amount to less than $2 million.
Yet its own pitch book for investors reveals a rosier future: Gawker’s growth plan is to increase its operating income from $6.7 million in 2014 to $43 million in 2019.
Gawker has responded in court papers that a major international law firm, Mayer Brown, “analyzed the appropriate arm’s-length pricing for the royalty payable by Gawker to [subsidiary company] Kinja with respect to the intellectual property.”
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