Gawker Media, Weblogs, Inc. Network, and AlwaysOn merge, raise $12m from Fred Wilson; tap John Battelle as CEO.

Well, I guess many of you knew I was working on this, but I’m filling in the rest of younow. After long discussions with Nick Denton, Tony Perkins, Fred Wilson and John Battelle over the past 60 days the four of us came to the conclusion that together we could build the Time-Warner of blogging.

Fred Wilson, of Flatiron Partners fame, has taken the proceeds from the Kozmo auction which included over three million DVDs, thousands of bike messenger bags, 760 Vespas and 34 cases of expired Ben and Jerry’s ice cream to fund the new company.

Nick Denton has put out an official statement: “Would you want Calacanis buzzing around you all day long?! He’s such a relentless ball-buster I couldn’t take it anymore. Better to work with him then have him IMing my bloggers all day long with job offers. Besides, Bjork just invited me to Cannes.”

Tony Perkins, quoted from his villa in Italy said “I’m in this for the money and I hold bloggers in utter contempt now more then ever. This is the quickest way for me see some liquidity on a horrible investment. I plan on becoming an entrepreneur-in-residence for two years at five different VC firms at half a million a year. That’s $5 million in ten years more then I could ever hope to make from a publishing venture.”

John Battelle, the driving force behind the collapse of The Industry Standard and the chief architect whose multimedia strategy almost took down WIRED, says this is his final chance: “No one has run three huge publishing efforts up an down the hill in the history of publishing. If I can do this successfully I will have lost more investment dollars then any other publisher in modern history. It’s the Triple Crown.”

In a prepared statement Calacanis said, “Listen, I’m in this for the press. Pulling together a deal like this is my best shot on getting on Charlie Rose again, orbeing featured in Vanity Fair.”

The group, which now calls itself Gawker Always-on Media Blog LegendsEnterprises (GAMBLE),is preparing for a conference call later today. Ironically, the deal is closing on April 1st.

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