When Billionaire Joe Ricketts shut down his collection of local news sites back in November of 2017 because staffers voted to unionize or according to Mr. Ricketts there was no money, the move was greeted across the media world with a simultaneous WTF? Fast-forward nearly four months later and Gothamist,LAist and DCist are being relaunched under new ownership. A group of three public radio stations acquired the properties from Mr. Ricketts in a joint deal announced today. The new owners plan to fund the sites via sponsorship, events and memberships. Though DNAinfo was part of the sale, the site will not be relaunched.
A consortium of public radio stations, including WNYC in New York, WAMU in Washington DC, and KPCC in Southern California, has banded together to bring some of those sites back from the dead. The three stations are acquiring the assets of Gothamist and some of its associated sites, including LAist, DCist, and DNAInfo. The deal was spearheaded by Gothamist founders Jake Dobkin and Jen Chung, and is being funded by two anonymous donors who have contributed an undisclosed sum to acquire the brands. As part of the deal, the archives of both sites will remain online. Gothamist, led by Dobkin and Chung, will begin publishing new stories this spring.
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