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Gawker.com to end operations next week after nearly 14 years of operation

Gawker.com said Thursday it will shut down next week after nearly 14 years of operation.

The company said outgoing CEO Nick Denton made the announcement to staffers on Thursday afternoon.

Gawker also said that the decision "comes days after Univision successfully bid $135 million for Gawker Media's six other websites, and four months after the Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel revealed his clandestine legal campaign against the company."

Univision later announced that it will acquire Gizmodo, Jalopnik, Jezebel, Deadspin, Lifehacker and Kotaku, but that it "will not be operating the Gawker.com site."

"Desirable though the other properties are, we have not been able to find a single media company or investor willing also to take on Gawker.com. The campaign being mounted against its editorial ethos and former writers has made it too risky. I can understand the caution," Denton said in his staff memo.

Earlier this week, Denton told CNBC that Gawker "employees are protected and will continue their work under new ownership" and that the company "could not have picked an acquirer more devoted to vibrant journalism."

The company said near-term plans for what to do with Gawker.com's coverage and archives have not been finalized.

Nine years ago, Gawker outed Thiel as gay. Thiel has acknowledged he funded lawsuits against Gawker, including spending about $10 million on one by wrestler Hulk Hogan that led to a $140 million judgment against Gawker.

Hamilton Nolan, Gawker's longest-tenured staffer, tweeted that "Gawker was good" on Thursday.

Denton said that Gawker's bloggers "have introduced a new style of journalism, sometimes enthusiastic, sometimes snarky, but always authentic."

"We connect with a skeptical and media-savvy generation by giving them the real story, the version that journalists used to keep to themselves," he said.

Denton ended his memo by saying that Gawker.com will "live on in legend" and quoting the film "Blade Runner":

"As the short-lived killer android is told in Blade Runner: 'The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long, and you have burned so very very brightly.'"

— CNBC's Julia Boorstin and Ryan Ruggiero contributed to this report.

Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media
Andrew Harrer | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Nick Denton, founder of Gawker Media