DCist, Gothamist revived by public radio

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The Gothamist, LAist and DCist webpages are back in business just four months after they were shut down following a decision from employees to unionize.

WNYC, a New York public radio station, said Friday it will take over the three locally focused news sites after funding was provided by two anonymous donors.

WNYC will acquire Gothamist and its social media properties, while LAist will be run by Pasadena, Calif.-based KPCC. WAMU in Washington will manage DCist. 


“For more than a decade, Gothamist served as a source of trusted local news,” said New York Public Radio President and CEO Laura Walker in a statement. “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,” she added. 

Andi McDaniel, chief content officer of WAMU in Washington, said it felt “like such a natural fit” for the station to acquire DCist.

“The kind of community and neighborhood-level reporting that DCist does, and its beloved status locally, just aligned naturally with what our mission is,” McDaniel said on WAMU’s website.

It is not known how large the donations from the two anonymous sources were. 

The news comes after it was announced on Nov. 2 that billionaire Joe Ricketts was shutting the sites down due to financial struggles one week after employees voted to unionize. 

“At the end of the day, a business, and businesses, need to be economically successful if they are to endure,” Ricketts wrote in a memo posted to the websites at the time. “Progress hasn’t been sufficient to support the tremendous effort and expense needed to produce the type of journalism on which the company was founded.”

“I’m hopeful that in time, someone will crack the code on a business that can support exceptional neighborhood storytelling for I believe telling these stories remains essential,” he added. 

The decision put 115 journalists out of work, The New York Times reported at the time.

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