August 16, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
New York, NY – The Writers Guild of America East wants bidders for the bankrupt Gawker Media company to ensure they won’t abrogate its editorial staff’s union contract.
Gawker, which filed for Chapter 11 after it lost a $140 million lawsuit for posting a sex tape of former wrestler Hulk Hogan, will go up for auction Aug. 16. “We have no desire or inclination to work under terms other than our existing union contract,” the 99 staffers declared in papers filed with a federal bankruptcy court Aug. 9. “We wish to state as clearly as possible that it would be a profound mistake for any buyer to try to alter or renegotiate the terms of our contract in any way.” The Ziff Davis company, which owns the PCMag.com and Geek.com Web sites, has bid $90 million, on the condition that a judge allow it to take over Gawker “free and clear” of any liabilities. Gawker’s staff, one of the first digital-media sites to unionize, joined the WGAE in 2015 and ratified a three-year contract almost unanimously last February. Read more