Gawker Sells Site To Consumer Union

Gawker Media, the snark-ridden media empire founded by Nick Denton, has sold its Consumerist.com blog to the publisher of Consumer Reports.

Gawker Media, the snark-ridden media empire that was founded by Nick Denton, has sold its Consumerist.com blog to Consumers Union, the consumer watchdog group that publishes Consumer Reports.

Don't expect Consumerist.com to change its sarcastic tone anytime soon. In announcing the transaction on its homepage, the moderator of Consumerist.com wrote, "I, for one, welcome our new Consumers Union overlords."

As Consumers Union contemplates its discomfort with the "overlord" moniker, Consumerist.com took care to spell out to its readers how the incongruent acquisition will affect them. Chris Walters and Carey Greenberg-Berger have returned to the blog, and Meghann Marco will join the site's current editor Ben Popken as co-executive editor.

Gawker, founded in 2002, seems eager to cut its expenses and make divestitures. In April, Gawker sold its Idolator.com, Gridskipper.com and Wonkette.com sites, to three new owners. Then in November, the online publisher's chief executive officer Denton, announced that the company's ad revenue may fall up to 40% as a result of the economic downturn. One month later, He disclosed that the revenue has increased about 40%, as a result of google ad words and larger ad spots on the site. Gawker earns most of its profits from ad revenue.

Consumerist.com, which launched three years ago, will operate under a new non-profit entity named Consumer Media LLC, as part of Consumers Union.

John Sateja, executive vice president of Consumers Union, said Consumerist.com is successful at building community, battling unfriendly consumer behavior, "and having a little fun while they're at it." Consumers Union was founded in 1936.

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