Feb 1, 2023 - Economy

BDG Media suspending operations at Gawker

BDG logo

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

BDG Media is suspending Gawker and will lay off 8% of full-time staff, according to an internal memo from CEO Bryan Goldberg that was obtained by Axios.

Why it matters: The news comes as BDG continues to search for a buyer or potential liquidity partner.

  • “Gawker was essentially an early-stage startup within our company,” Goldberg tells Axios. ”And the time came to either triple-down on the investment or pull back and focus on our other properties. And, unfortunately, now just isn’t the moment to push millions of dollars into a pre-monetization product.”

Details: In the memo, Goldberg noted that changes to the internet publishing landscape, will force the company to change parts of its strategy moving forward.

  • “After experiencing a financially strong 2022, we have found ourselves facing a surprisingly difficult Q1 of 2023,” he wrote.
  • “BDG has made the decision to reprioritize some of our investments that better position the Company for the direction we see the industry moving.“

Catch up quick: Goldberg launched Bustle nearly 10 years ago, and has since expanded the company to include nearly a dozen fashion and lifestyle brands.

  • Much of the company’s portfolio was created through small acquisitions.
  • Bustle revived Gawker in 2018 after the media insiders' website had been shut down via a celebrity lawsuit.
  • Bustle rebranded to BDG Media in 2021 ahead of a planned blank check merger IPO.

The big picture: BDG joins dozens of other media and tech firms that have implemented layoffs in the past few weeks, as the advertising market continues to slow.

💭 Kerry Flynn's thought bubble: A brutal end for the revived brand. When it relaunched in 2021, the site published, “How much money do you have: Bryan Goldberg?” The answer is apparently not enough to keep Gawker going.

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