Gothamist News Sites Revived By Public Radio

Andrew Cummings
February 24, 2018

WNYC, a NY public radio station, said Friday will take over the three locally focused news sites after funding was provided by two anonymous donors. The station has approached Chicago's WBEZ about acquiring Chicagoist's assets, according to WBEZ spokesperson Betsy Berger.

New York Public Radio's chief operating officer told The Wall Street Journal that each of the three stations has some "skin in the game".

"The nonprofit WNYC business model has proved to be a growing and thriving thing while a lot of things have been going so deeply south", Jim Schachter, head of WNYC's news division, told the magazine.

"For more than a decade, GOTHAMIST served as a source of trusted local news", said NEW YORK PUBLIC RADIO Pres./CEO LAURA WALKER. In a statement, WAMU Senior Director of Content and News Andi McDaniel said the acquisition will help add to its digital presence, while at the same time expanding coverage at the "neighborhood level".

Gothamist and a companion news site DNAinfo were previously owned by Joe Ricketts, a billionaire businessman who founded the brokerage TD Ameritrade.

"We are delighted to be able to merge LAists's assets into Southern California Public Radio's public service newsroom", Southern California Public Radio President Bill Davis said in the statement. "It will strengthen our ability to provide Angelenos with high quality journalism on a variety of platforms. I'm proud that SCPR could be part of this innovative effort".

A KPCC spokesman said in an e-mail that the station hopes to have original and compelling content on the LAist website in the very near future.

DCist was abruptly shut down in November 2017 by its owner who, in a letter on the site, said "Businesses need to be economically successful if they are to endure".

Public radio station WNYC announced Friday that it has bought the New York City-based operation and will have it back online in the spring. From its state-of-the-art studios, WNYC is reshaping audio for a new generation of listeners, producing some of the most-loved nationally-syndicated public radio programs including Radiolab, On the Media, The Takeaway and Snap Judgment.

The staffs of DNAinfo and Gothamist are members of the WGA, while WNYC's employees are part of SAG-AFTRA.

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