Public Radio Trio Acquires Gothamist Assets
The assets of the the Gothamist network will be revived by three public radio stations under deal made by the stations, former owner Joe Ricketts, and two anonymous donors.
WNYC New York, KPCC Pasadena/Los Angeles, and WAMU Washington DC will resurrect Gothamist.com, LAist.com, and DCist.com respectively. Each site will relaunch this spring independently from the radio station’s sites.
Gothamist founders Jen Chung and Jake Dobkin spearheaded the deal and will manage that site for WNYC. Wired reports they will at first utilize WNYC staffers but intend to add “a mix of new hires and former Gothamist writers interested in getting the band back together”. KPCC and WAMU will each bring in a small staff for their sites.
Leaders in public media—WNYC (New York), KPCC (Southern California),and WAMU (Washington, D.C.)—today announced they have joined together to acquire key assets of Gothamist and its associated sites: LAist and DCist. The acquisition includes the story archives, internet domains, and social media assets from Gothamist and DNAinfo. This deal is part of public radio’s commitment to local journalism and honors the legacy and shared mission of Gothamist, as well as DNAinfo, the trusted neighborhood news service founded by Joe Ricketts.
Each public media organization involved in the investment is a leading source of enterprise journalism and local reporting in their respective communities. The assets acquired will enable the stations to expand their digital footprint and support their shared missions to reflect and serve their listeners and the public.
The acquisition is being funded in large part through generous philanthropic donations from two anonymous donors, who are deeply committed to supporting local journalism initiatives and the station partners.
“For more than a decade, Gothamist served as a source of trusted local news,” said Laura Walker, President and CEO, New York Public Radio. “That resonates with us at WNYC, where we are committed to telling stories rooted in New York and that matter to New Yorkers. As we’ve seen a decline in local journalism in even the largest metropolitan areas across the country, even at a time when it’s so vital, we remain committed to strong, independent reporting that fills the void.”
“As one of the most trusted and reliable news sources serving Washington, D.C., WAMU connects Washingtonians with each other and the world,” said JJ Yore, General Manager, WAMU. “The addition of DCist expands the breadth of our local content, and increases our digital presence to better serve our community.”
“We are delighted to be able to merge LAist’s assets into Southern California Public Radio’s public service newsroom,” said Bill Davis, President, Southern California Public Radio. “It will strengthen our ability to provide Angelenos with high quality journalism on a variety of platforms. I also want to recognize and salute Laura Walker and Joe Ricketts for their leadership and generosity in putting this deal together. I’m proud that SCPR could be part of this innovative effort.”
“The most important thing for me was to make sure the assets went to a news organization that would honor our commitment to neighborhood storytelling,” said Joe Ricketts, the former owner of Gothamist and DNAinfo. “I can’t think of a better home for these sites and their archives than WNYC and public radio stations KPCC and WAMU.”
The acquisition was a result of a competitive process and Joe Ricketts was advised on the transaction by Pursuit Advisory.