Gawker files for bankruptcy

Gawker Media has filed for bankruptcy and will be put up for sale: “Gawker Media filed for bankruptcy on Friday, after saying in Florida court that it cannot pay the $140.1 million awarded to actor Hulk Hogan in a case bankrolled by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel.”

PC Mag publisher Ziff Davis is reported to have submitted an opening bid of $90 million to $100 million. Ziff Davis, which also runs IGN, Geek.com and AskMen.com, is owned by j2Global, “an internet services company with an assortment of internet fax, online phone, email marketing and other communications services.”

Previously: Gawker founder Nick Denton and former editor Albert J. Daulerio take the stand in the Hulk Hogan trial. And billionaire libertarian Peter Thiel is revealed to be the money-man behind the Hogan trial.

Gawker files for bankruptcy, to sell itself to Ziff Davis

Gawker is filing for bankruptcy protection and will sell itself rather than pay $140 million to pro wrestler Hulk Hogan.

The company says it plans to sell itself to publishing company Ziff Davis.

Gawker filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, about three months after Hogan won a lawsuit against the online gossip and news publisher. The sale will be conducted through bankruptcy court so other bidders could emerge.

The New York company said in the filing that it has as much as $500 million in debt and up to $100 million in assets.

Hogan sued Gawker after it posted a video of him having sex with a friend’s wife. Hogan was awarded $115 million in compensatory damages plus an added $25.1 million in punitive damages.

It was later revealed that billionaire tech investor Peter Thiel had been secretly funding Hogan’s lawsuit.

Thiel, who co-founded PayPal and was an early investor in Facebook, has been a frequent target of Gawker writers, who have written unflattering pieces about Thiel’s political beliefs and utopian goals. One 2007 post outed Thiel as gay. Another Gawker site, Valleywag, ran a number of stories skewering Facebook, which provided a big chunk of Thiel’s estimated $2.7 billion fortune.

A spokesman for Thiel said he had no comment on Friday.

In the filing, Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, was listed as Gawker’s biggest creditor.

Gawker founder Nick Denton said in a statement that Ziff Davis’ e-commerce, licensing and video assets would be a good fit with Gawker’s websites, which include tech site Gizmodo, sports site Deadpsin, video-game site Kotaku, celebrity and women-focused site Jezebel, news and gossip site Gawker, car-site Jalopnik and self-help site Lifehacker.

Republished with permission of the Associated Press.

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Poll: Majority of Floridians say Marco Rubio should not for re-election

Marco Rubio could face a tough general election were he to decide to run for re-election this year.

According to a new Public Policy Polling survey, 51 percent of voters polled said they do not thing Rubio should run for re-election this year. Another 39 percent said Rubio should run; while 10 percent they were unsure.

The survey found 58 percent of voters who identified as Republicans thought he should run for the Senate. The survey found he would have support from people who identified as either somewhat or very conservative in a re-election bid.

Rubio, who ended his 2016 presidential bid in March, has said he would not seek another term in the U.S. Senate. However, several top ranking Republicans have been urging him to run for re-election. The deadline to qualify for the seat in June 24.

The survey of 737 registered voters found 54 percent of respondents said they disapproved of Rubio’s performance. Thirty-two percent of respondents said they approved of his job performance; while 14 percent said they weren’t sure.

In a hypothetical general election match-up, Rubio received 43 percent to Democrat Patrick Murphy‘s 44 percent. The survey found Rubio would defeat Democrat Alan Grayson in a hypothetical match-up, 43 percent to 38 percent.

“Marco Rubio’s image in Florida continues to be badly damaged in the wake of his failed presidential bid,” said Dean Debnam, president of Public Policy Polling. “If he runs for the Senate, there’s a pretty good chance he’s going to suffer two political defeats in one year.”

But a re-election bid seems more unlikely each day. Rubio has made fundraising calls in the past for his friend Carlos Lopez-Cantera, who is one of five Republicans running for the seat, and is set to attend a fundraiser for the lieutenant governor on June 24 in Miami.

Lopez-Cantera faces Ron DeSantisDavid JollyCarlos Beruff and Todd Wilcox in the Aug. 30 Republican primary.

The survey of 737 registered voters was conducted from June 2 until June 5. It has a margin of error of 3.6 percent.

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Meet The Ringer

Less than a year after the untimely demise of Grantland (previously), Bill Simmons is back with a new sports and pop culture site, The Ringer.

Returning are Grantland editorial staff Sean Fennessey, Bryan Curtis, and Danny Chau, as well as writers Jason Concepcion (Ask the Maester), Katie Baker (hockey and more), Matt Borcas, Robert Mays, and Jason Gallagher. New additions include former Obama speechwriter Jon Favreau (no relation to the actor), Alyssa Bereznak (Vanity Fair), Kevin Clark (WSJ), and Allison Davis (NYMag’s The Cut), among others. Some may lament the lack of Grantland’s heavy hitters, as WaPo reports:

Not everyone could be rounded up. Dan Fierman, Alex Pappademas and group of other Grantlanders were hired to revive MTV News. Wesley Morris took a gig at The New York Times. Even Robert Mays, a 28-year-old sportswriter, admitted that he wrestled with whether to return to Simmons.

Unlike Grantland, an ESPN property, The Ringer is owned by Bill Simmons Media Group, with HBO as the sole publicly acknowledged major investor, and a prominent beer sponsorship on the front page.

Sports Illustrated interviews Editor-In-Chief Sean Fennessey.

Relieve yourself triumphantly

Along with her North Carolina concert, Cyndi Lauper has teamed up with Harvey Fierstein and the cast of KINKY BOOTS to bring us advice – Just Pee!

The video, filmed in the men’s room at Broadway’s Al Hirschfeld theater, uses rewritten lyrics to KINKY BOOTS’ finale, “Just Be”. Unlike other artists, Lauper went ahead with a planned North Carolina concert in the wake of the states’ bathroom bill – and will be turning over all proceeds to various LGBT groups.