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Univision deletes Gawker posts tied to litigation

Univision Communications Inc. said on Saturday it had deleted postings related to active litigation against Gawker Media Group Inc. to create a ‘clean slate’

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Univision Communications Inc. said on Saturday it had deleted postings subject to active litigation against Gawker Media Group Inc. to create a ‘clean slate’ for the online publishing company acquired for $135 million in a bankruptcy auction that took place in August of this year.

Gawker Media sought bankruptcy in June after facing a $140 million court judgment following an invasion of privacy lawsuit from former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea, over the publication of excerpts from a sex tape.

Univision said in a statement, "Following our acquisition of assets from Gawker Media, we have decided to take down select articles that are the subject of pending litigation against the prior owners,"

"At this time of transition, the decision was based on a desire to have a clean slate as we look to support and grow the editorial missions of the acquired brands," they said.

A bankruptcy judge approved Univision's winning bid in August following a bankruptcy auction and Gawker Media said its website Gawker.com known for celebrity and media gossip would shut down and its media assets would be integrated into Fusion Media Group.

Hogan's lawsuit against Gawker was bankrolled by billionaire investor Peter Thiel. Gawker.com in 2007 published an article about Thiel's homosexuality.

Removal of the postings required a vote of the interim general counsel, interim CEO, and the executive editor in line with Gawker's collective bargaining agreement.

Gawker Media Executive Editor John Cook said in a memo to staffers, seen by Reuters, that the executives had voted on Friday to delete the six postings from Gawker Media sites: Three from Deadspin, two from tech blog Gizmodo and one from a women's website, Jezebel.

Cook's memo said that he had voted to retain the postings and removing them was an accident.