In advance of the now-postponed trial between Gawker and Hulk Hogan, the media company is releasing financial details that show that the company made $44.3 million of revenue in 2014. In the release, Gawker will disclose that its very expensive legal fees came out of its $6.53 million operating income but the company did take an $8 million loan from Silicon Valley Bank to pay for its new flatiron office, which the company is scheduled to move to later this month.
“With the possibility of an initial judgment against Gawker Media at the forthcoming trial in Florida, there’s been interest in the company’s underlying financial health,” Mr. Denton said in a statement. “Our journalists and I stand for open discussion of true and interesting stories, and our finances have become part of the story. So we intend to be open about them, both in the media and in the St. Petersburg courtroom. I am as proud of our business track record as I am of our writers’ reputation for journalistic boldness.”
The news comes in advance of the trial, which was set to start on July 6 in St. Petersburg, Florida but has since been postponed. Mr. Hogan is suing Gawker for $100 million for publishing an edited video of the wrestler having sex with the then-wife of a radio shock jock named Bubba the Love Sponge. Mr. Denton had indicated that Gawker’s future hung in the balance if the jury ruled in Mr. Hogan’s favor for the full amount.
“It’s a $100 million lawsuit,” Mr. Denton told The New York Times earlier this month. “We don’t keep $100 million in the bank, no.”
According to Gawker’s release, the company, which has never taken outside investment, has had five years of steady, if not eye-popping, growth. But for a media company, not losing money is good. Making some is even better. Many media companies would be very pleased with a profit growth of almost 10 percent.
Here’s a chart of Gawker’s revenue, expenses and operating income from 2010 to 2014 (courtesy of the press release):
As the Observer first reported last September, Gawker is moving to 17th street and Fifth Avenue. The move is scheduled for later this month. Gawker’s new digs will encompass 40,000 square feet and include “dedicated studios for speaker events”…as well as its own side entrance so that Gawker writers won’t have to run into any Mashable or First Look employees in the elevators.
Since Mr. Denton won’t have to go to Florida until some future date, he can go back to focusing on moving the company uptown.