Gawker has changed hands yet again, as the name and domain was acquired by the Singapore-based founder of Caldecott Music Group, who plans a “reinvention” for the infamous gossip blog.
Caldecott founder and CEO Meng Ru Kuok this week bought the name and domain – though not its digital archive – from Bustle Digital Group for an undisclosed amount. Bustle confirmed the sale to TheWrap.
“As it relates to the future for Gawker, as a brand that spent many years in the public consciousness, my personal opinion is that it has the opportunity for reinvention,” Kuok wrote in an email, according to multiple media reports. “Whatever plans materialize, what’s for sure is that it won’t be the same as it was before.”
The purchase won’t be part of of Kuok’s already established businesses.
Gawker was relaunched in July 2021 under the BDG umbrella after then-CEO Bryan Goldberg acquired the site’s assets for $1.35 million in a 2018 bankruptcy auction. The site had been dormant since 2016 when its then-parent company lost in court over a lawsuit brought by wrestler Hulk Hogan.
On Feb. 1 of this year, BDG’s CEO announced the company would lay off 8% of its workforce. Bustle rebranded to BDG Media in 2021 ahead of a planned blank check merger IPO, but in an internal memo obtained and reviewed by Axios, the downsizing appears correlated with a “search for a buyer or potential liquidity partner.”
Goldberg launched BDG Media a decade ago and is set on recalibrating amid economic headwinds impacting the digital publishing industry. The company’s websites across fashion and lifestyle were brought in through acquisitions. Gawker was resurrected in 2018 after the snarky media gossip site went belly-up.
Gawker was founded by British journalist Nick Denton in 2002.
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