Yet Ziff Davis wants to bail them out. The men’s lifestyle media
company inexplicably wants to attach its own brand to this most toxic of
blogging networks. Sure, there are tax reasons for doing so, but it’s
hard to see how they might outweigh the potential brand damage.
Ziff Davis owns properties that compete with Gawker, especially
Gawker’s laughably dumb video game blog, Kotaku. Apparently the company
believes it can neutralise its competitors and sell off whatever’s left.
On second thoughts, maybe Ziff Davis is the perfect home. Ziff Davis
bought the IGN network and ruthlessly sacrificed their existing brands
like 1Up, gamespy, and UGO. Maybe they can do the same to Gawker, but
keep its car blog afloat for my gearhead boyfriends.
Ziff Davis Layoffs, 1Up, GameSpy, UGO Shutting Down
Digital media company, Ziff Davis, is laying off quite a bit and completely shutting down their 1Up, GameSpy, and UGO subsidiaries. The focus of the company will now shift to solely IGN and AskMen.
Here’s the memo that was sent out by Ziff Davis CEO Vivek Shah:
From: Vivek Shah Date: February 21, 2013 Subject: Staff Announcement
Today, we took some difficult but important actions that will ensure the continued growth and health of IGN and AskMen. Before I go into more details about the changes, you should know that they resulted in the elimination of jobs at IGN. It’s always upsetting to say goodbye to colleagues and let’s do what we can to help these employees as they seek new opportunities.
It’s also important for you to know that we are absolutely confident that we now have the best structure and team to successfully move the company forward and that there are no further planned reductions.
The changes we made today are designed to allow us to Simplify and Focus. Our goal is to do fewer things and to do them exceptionally well. In that vein, we want to direct all of our energy and work behind our two flagship brands: IGN and AskMen. They are both category killers and share a vision of a multi-screen (PCs, tablets, smartphones, TV) and multi-format (text, photos and video) world.
As a result of our decision to focus on our core brands, we are: · Winding down 1UP.com, UGO.com and GameSpy.com; · No longer ad repping 3rd party sites such as GameStop.com and FamilyGuy.com; · Actively engaged with parties interested in acquiring IPL. IGN’s role going forward will be to broadcast and cover a variety of eSports events; · Dividing our ad sales team into two: one focused on IGN and the other focused on AskMen.
On the IGN front, Peer Schneider will continue to oversee all of editorial and product, focusing those resources exclusively on IGN. The foundation of this entire company is its content and we will continue to have the best people in the industry producing it.
Charlie Barrett will oversee the monetization of IGN everywhere in the U.S. - PCs, tablets, smartphones, YouTube, consoles - and now be able to concentrate the sales and ad ops teams’ efforts where they can make the most impact.
Frank Puma will assume an exciting new role as executive director of programs and solutions, reporting to Charlie. The sales development, design and creative teams will report to Frank, whose charge is to deliver world-class advertising experiences.
A new head of engineering and technology for IGN will be recruited as quickly as possible. Tech has a monumental role to play in the growth of IGN and will be committed to working hand-in-glove with edit, product and sales.
On the AskMen front, Ric Poupada will continue to oversee all aspects of the AskMen organization and is excited to have a new VP of sales, Paul Chenier, reporting to him. Paul has been a longtime advocate of the AskMen brand and is one of the most talented sales executives in our organization. Having him build a dedicated AskMen ad sales team will do wonders for the business.
Ian Chambers will continue to run International out of the UK for both IGN and AskMen and we’re thrilled with the performance of our businesses overseas.
Mike Etheridge will be the VP of finance and operations for IGN and AskMen, working across all of the departments to ensure that we’re growing our business, expanding our margins and making metric-based decisions.
Rachelle Igoe will be the head of human resources for IGN and AskMen, ensuring that we continue to nurture, attract and retain the best talent in the industry.
I’m sure that there will be a number of questions in the days and weeks ahead but please know that we will be a better functioning and nimbler organization from this moment forward.
As I said on day one, openness and transparency are important, so please email me at [removed] if you have any questions, thoughts or ideas.
RIP to GameSpy, UGO, and 1Up. These are the gaming websites I read the most while growing up.
I had to do a double-take on this one, just to make sure I wasn’t reading an article from 1993.
Founded in 1979, Computer Shopper was a Ziff Davis property from 1993-2001 when it was sold to CNET. SX2 Media Labs, which purchased Computer Shopper from CNET in 2006, is now selling it back to Ziff Davis.
Incidentally, Ziff Davis (specifically Computer Shopper) was the first publisher I worked for as an advertising sales account executive.
PRESS DIGEST- New York Times business news - Aug 17
Aug 17 (Reuters) - The following are the top stories on the New York Times business pages. Reuters has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
- Gawker Media was sold to Univision at auction on Tuesday. Univision bid $135 million to beat out digital media publisher Ziff Davis. http://nyti.ms/2bxbEi9
- Ford Motor’s Chief Executive Mark Fields said the company planned to mass produce driverless cars and have them in commercial operation in a ride-hailing service by 2021. http://nyti.ms/2bxaOSD
- The Obama administration on Tuesday issued aggressive new emissions standards for heavy-duty trucks. The rules are expected to achieve better fuel efficiency and a bigger cut in pollution than the version that was first proposed last year. http://nyti.ms/2bxbVS2
- African officials say the arrest of a Gabonese man on bribery charges may help pull back the curtain on a long-running foreign corruption scandal. United States authorities on Tuesday arrested Samuel Mebiame, a consultant who worked for a joint venture involving Och-Ziff Capital Management Group. http://nyti.ms/2bxcbk9
Univision has won the auction for Gawker Media. The TV network and digital publisher has agreed to pay $135 million for the bankrupt blog network, according to a person familiar with the deal. Univision’s offer will encompass all seven of Gawker Media’s sites, including Gawker.com.
Ziff Davis and Univision were the only two bidders for Gawker, which filed for bankruptcy after Hulk Hogan and Peter Thiel won a $140 million judgment in a privacy case. Ziff Davis had originally offered $90 million for Gawker Media.
Here’s a statement from Gawker Media owner Nick Denton: “Gawker Media Group has agreed this evening to sell our business and popular brands to Univision, one of America’s largest media companies that is rapidly assembling the leading digital media group for millennial and multicultural audiences. I am pleased that our employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership — disentangled from the legal campaign against the company. We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism.”
Univision already owns Fusion TV, The Onion, The Root, The A.V. Club, Clickhole, and a galaxy of Spanish-language radio and television stations. Gawker’s stable includes the namesake site, Deadspin, Lifehacker, Gizmodo, Kotaku, Jalopnik, and Jezebel.
Univision outbids Ziff Davis to buy bankrupt Gawker for $135m
News site Gawker is being purchased by Univision for $135m (£104m). Gawker was seeking a buyer since filing for bankruptcy after it was hit with a $140m libel judgment in a lawsuit brought by celebrity wrestler Hulk Hogan which was bankrolled by Silicon Valley billionaire and PayPal co-founder, Peter Thiel.
Univision faced off against Ziff Davis in a bankruptcy auction for the popular site founded in 2002 by British journalist-entrepreneur Nick Denton.
Univision will acquire all seven web sites run by Gawker, including its main site, sports site Deadspin, Jezebel, aimed at female readers, and Gizmodo for techies, according to Recode.
Univision, which until recently was best known as a Spanish-language TV network, has been rapidly expanding its digital reach by acquiring satire site The Onion and The Root, a publication aimed at African-Americans. It also recently purchased millennial digital news site, Fusion.
After announcing the deal for Gawker, Denton called Univision “one of America’s largest media companies that is rapidly assembling the leading digital media group for millennial and multicultural audiences. We could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism.”
He also said he was “pleased” that Gawker employees will be “protected and will continue their work under new ownership disentangled from the legal campaign against the company.
Houlihan Lokey banker Mark Patricof, who represented Gawker Media, said the deal "exceeded our expectations,” and that “both sides are happy with the outcome.”
A US bankruptcy judge still needs to sign off on the case, and the libel judgment funds will be set aside while Gawker appeals its court case.
Denton pioneered new territory with his gossip news site with attitude that quickly became a hit with readers and was copied by a host of other digital news sites.
Gawker outed Thiel as gay in 2007. Thiel finally announced he was proud to be gay from the podium of the Republican National Convention this year.
Thiel secretly bankrolled the lawsuit by Hulk Hogan (Terry Bollea) against the news site that netted an astonishingly high judgment with the help of expensive legal talent. Hogan had claimed that Gawker violated his privacy in 2012 when it published a sex tape of him and his former best friend’s wife.
The controversial Thiel has boasted that he helped clean up American journalism with the lawsuit. But First Amendment advocates argue that such a retaliatory lawsuits by the wealthy have a dangerous chilling effect on free speech.
Denton has called Thiel’s attack lawsuit “a personal vendetta.” Despite Thiel’s success he’s a “a thin-skinned billionaire who seethes over criticism and plots behind the scenes,” he added.