Last year, billionaire Joe Ricketts shut down Gothamist and DNAInfo a week after newsroom employees unionized. Though there was immediate public outcry over the decision, the sites' future has remained bleak and uncertain, but, as Wired reports, they're now getting an unexpected helping hand from some old-school media -- public radio. At least three public radio stations -- New York's WNYC, Washington DC's WAMU and Southern California's KPCC -- will be taking over Gothamist and associated sites like LAist, DCist and DNAInfo, maintaining their archives and adding new content in the near future.
Gothamist founders Jake Dobkin and Jen Chung said that the sudden shutdown of the sites last year was unexpected. "We tried to do our best to improve the situation and bring something positive out of it, and we did," Dobkin told Wired. Two anonymous donors have provided funds for the deal, though the amount hasn't been disclosed.
Going forward, WNYC will run Gothamist alongside its own site. Chung and WNYC staff will write content for it and at some point, new hires and possibly previous Gothamist staff members will join the team. WAMU plans to hire three people for DCist and hopes to start adding new content this spring. And KPCC's Alex Schaffert told Wired, "Our goal is to generate new content for the site, build on the archive of stories that we were fortunate to acquire and integrate LAist into KPCC's portfolio of services."
Dobkin told Wired that they're still looking for additional local radio stations to take over other Gothamist sites like Chicagoist and SFist.