J.K. Trotter is reporting that Gawker.com is shutting down next week, confirming rumors that Univision, which on Tuesday reached a $135 million deal to buy Gawker Media, is not interested in maintaining the flagship site, even as it absorbs Gawker Media’s six other sites. The closing of Gawker represents a victory for Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, who bankrolled the Hulk Hogan lawsuit that pushed Gawker Media into bankruptcy and, by extension, turned Gawker.com into damaged goods in the eyes of the corporate world.
There will be longer, deeper obituaries written about Gawker, which started off as a New York-centric, media-gossip blog before expanding into a national outlet with immense reach and influence. But suffice it to say that Gawker is embedded in online media’s DNA, which you can see for yourself by simply taking a look around this very page. And after 14 years of near-constant churn and innovation, it was still better at what it did than all its imitators. Though its sensibility is everywhere, it is almost impossible to imagine the media landscape without it.