Investors get into a game for the potential returns on their investment. Therefore, they do not tolerate recklessness. Gawker's signature has been built on taking extreme risks. One was showing a video of Hulk Hogan having sex with a buddy's spouse. Soon Gawker, as defendant, will be involved in a jury trial in Florida in which Hogan, as plaintiff, requests $100 million for that invasion of privacy.
So, we can assume that Gawker's wings might be clipped since Columbus Nova has become a minority investor. And playing it safe can destroy the enterprise built on a platform of titillating gossip and smackdowns on establishment figures such as Fox News' Roger Ailes. Without all that, Gawker might become a short-form version of Digital Everyman, that is, losing its ability to differentiate itself from all the other digital media out there.
Here is the coverage of the minority investment by Re/Code:
"In an email sent out to employees ... founder and CEO Nick Denton announced that Gawker had secured investment from Columbus Nova, an investment arm of Russian billionaire Viktor Vekselberg. Denton explicitly tied the funding to the Hogan trial, in which the wrestler (real name, Terry Bollea) is seeking $100 million for Gawker.com's publication of his sex tape in 2012."
Pesonally, I would welcome a tamed Gawker. Several years ago, for a few years, I was a target of its readers. They positioned and packaged me as an old lady who was sort of a public nuisance on the site. I pushed back by agreeing on my own syndicated three sites (here and here are the other two) that I was a mature professional. As such, I didn't belong as part of the Gawker community.
That didn't stop the harassment. Someone even conjured up a "Jane Genova" (my name) who would leave dumb comments on posts and to which others would gleefully reply. A good time was had by all, expect me.
Mediabistro.com readers had pulled a similar stunt on me in 2006. Currently, Mediabistro.com is not the influential media site it once was. A similar fate could await Gawker. Meanwhile, the world's media will follow the Hogan trial on his home turf in FL. I have a hunch the jurors won't cotton to Denton.