Man who bought Gawker for less money than a hat shutters company, keeps hat

Back in July 2021, the media company Gawker announced its triumphant return to the internet, after having previously shuttered in the wake of a devastating lawsuit brought on by Hulk Hogan for publishing a sex tape he made. The Gawker brand had been purchased by media mogul Bryan Goldberg in 2018, according to the New York Post, who spent about $1.35M to acquire the site's archives and social media accounts. In September 2022, Goldberg spent $1.4M to buy a bicorne hat that once belonged to Napoleon, saying:

"It was incredibly inexpensive compared to a lot of other collectables that people are buying at auction in the modern day," said Goldberg, 38, insisting he got a bargain.

"It's 100th the price of an expensive modern art painting. Frankly I can't believe the price I got it at."

This week, after just about a year and a half of operation, Nü Gawker announced it would be suspending operations:

In light of the news, Goldberg spoke with Axios about the closing, saying:

Gawker was essentially an early-stage startup within our company [BDG Media]. 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.


BDG has made the decision to reprioritize some of our investments that better position the Company for the direction we see the industry moving.

It's unclear if the investments he was referring to include the Napoleon hat, or if this statement was made while wearing said Napoleon hat.

BDG shutters Gawker 2.0: "We have to prioritize our better monetized sites" [Laura Hazard Owen / Nieman Lab]