Raju Narisetti, senior vice president at News Corp, has been appointed as CEO of Gizmodo Media Group.
Gizmodo Media Group was constituted under Univision Communications and will include media properties Gizmodo (technology), Jalopnik (car culture), Jezebel (women’s interest), Deadspin (sports), Lifehacker (lifestyle), and Kotaku (gaming).
The new media company was created without the flagship blog Gawker which is still in legal battle with with former professional wrestler Hulk Hogan. Gawker’s troubles began after it published excerpts from a sex tape involving Hogan who sued the company. Billionaire Peter Thiel, who founded PayPal, bankrolled Hulk Hogan’s lawsuit. Thiel and Gawker have been at odds after it published a story which outed him as gay.
The legal case bankrupted Gawker Media and its properties (sans Gawker) was auctioned to Univision for $135 million. Following the sale, Nick Denton, Gawker’s founder, would no longer be associated with the company.
Narisetti will report to Isaac Lee, Chief News, Digital and Entertainment Officer of Univision and Felipe Holguin, President and Chief Operating Officer of Fusion Media Group (a unit within Univision).
Since 2013, Narisetti has been responsible for acquisitions and global expansion. He has also been responsible for the digital growth of NewsCorp’s existing news companies and digital real estate companies which include The Wall Street Journal, The Times of London, Harper-Collins, Realtor.com and Storyful, among others.
News Corp has been making significant investments in India over the last year, most noticeably in real estate listings company PropTiger, and the acquisition of news and data business VCCircle.
Partnership with Times Internet
Note that Times Internet signed a partnership with Gawker Media in 2013 to offer Indian editions of Gizmodo and Lifehacker (a blog focused on productivity and technology). Earlier in June, MediaNama reached out to Times Internet to comment on how Gawker’s bankruptcy and sale would affect their partnership, to which they replied with a boiler plate response saying they “continue to see great opportunities for the two brands.” Times Internet’s response:
‘Gizmodo, Lifehacker and TIL have continued to grow well in India and have grown nearly six times since we announced our partnership. We continue to see great opportunities for the brands going forward’ – Puneet Singhvi, COO of Times Global Partners.